Messaging is in the Action: Don’t try to do everything. But do something and do it well…right now!
It is natural to want to please everyone and keep the engagement energy moving because every employee and their contributions matter! When your employees are engaged, they demonstrate their good vibes through strong performance, which moves the needle in your business. Your customers and clients feel it and return for more. When employees are disengaged, everyone feels it, and people hear about it. Instead, let’s get the employees feeling engaged, experiencing great work environments, and talking and throwing positive vibes.
Some factors to consider for creating and designing employee engagement initiatives and employee experiences:
- Understand that Employee Engagement Initiatives: programs and activities make the whole experience, such as performance management, onboarding, learning and development and total reward programs.
- Employee Experience lives in the full cycle of the journey from seeing the job posting to the onboarding plan, the performance management process and more.
- Details matter: communication strategy, delivery of the resources or programs, takeaways (tangible and non-tangible), accessibility, and equity of engagement programs.
- Some Engagement Initiatives like employee resource groups and Learning and Development programs are more transformational and ongoing. Some are quick events like an annual conference, wellness week, and monthly people celebrations. Both are incredibly impactful and should have thoughtful planning and objective alignment.
- How do these initiatives align, complement, or evolve business objectives?
- Will the specific activities or programs lead us to desired outcomes (people or business)?
- Who is the audience, and will the programs resonate?
- Do the initiatives align with our organizational values and address our business opportunities?
Employee Engagement goes beyond the fun factor. It is an art and a science and requires the right people to be in the design room and execution phase. Leaders at all levels should be involved in the design process and lifting of these programs vs. standing back and saying I support employee engagement or assigning the initiative as a stretch assignment to someone on their team. Engagement program design is part of business strategy and Human Capital Management strategy. And further, everyone should be responsible for employee engagement. And so, it is critical that any engagement program/initiative or activity should be done strategically, thoughtfully, and simply. A half-baked, or overly done and aimless program, will resonate negatively and throw the organization off balance requiring more resources to reset it.
In the absence of formalized programs: Leaders can take these simple and intentional steps:
- Provide a structured roadmap. Demonstrate to your employees where and how their contributions make a difference.
- Have a stay conversation at every point in the employee lifecycle.
- Have meaningful and frequent one-on-ones with employees and make it about them and what they need to be successful.
- Mean what you say. Say what you mean.
- Be an active advocate.
- Be situational and celebrate individuality, uniqueness, contributions, thoughts, and ideas.
- Don’t be a one-note leader. Evolve as with your team!
Employee engagement is a long game. It is critical to start somewhere so that people see, feel, hear, and experience the movement. It’s ok to move with a sense of urgency, and it’s stronger when you cross-collaborate, look at data, and ideate together for the best start. When in doubt, take a partner in your specific industry or seek advice from other industries to be inspired. You never know where the great ideas will come from! We are here to help!
Vice President of Client Development | Employee Engagement Engineer | Devoted Content Creator | Transformational Leader | HR Hat with a twist!