Often the motivation to take action on employee engagement usually begins with the same compelling factor — leaders feel pain. The sting of high turnover rates, the anguish of seeing many empty slots on the schedule or the apprehension of not being able to find qualified employees to fill those slots: These are the things that spur leaders to confront reality and say “We have to do something!”
But what happens next is the make or break decision.
From my observation working with many organizations on their engagement strategy, it all comes down to the mindset of leaders. Two very different mindsets lead to two very different outcomes.
SCENARIO 1: Leaders view engagement as a ‘program’
Leaders who view employee engagement as a program see it as a distinct project, and usually delegate the development and implementation of the program as an add-on to somebody’s job. This often falls to someone in human resources or quality assurance. This project coordinator arranges for some type of satisfaction survey to evaluate the current workplace experience of employees. The survey results are then given to leaders for their review.
From there, one of two things happen:
• Leaders take a cursory glance at the results, look at each other and say, “That’s interesting,” and then do nothing. If the survey scores are lower than expected, it’s not uncommon to explain away the results. “We conducted the survey right after we implemented our new payroll system and people weren’t happy.” “We were going through our reorganization at that time. No wonder why we have bad results!”