Employee Engagement Network: Advice for Managers

Are you involved with employee engagement initiatives at some level? If you’re not already a member of the Employee Engagement Network, I highly recommend it as a place to interact with and learn from some of the best minds on this topic. David Zinger, the founder of the Network, recently solicited one-sentence advice for managers on employee engagement and compiled them into an ebook. I’ve categorized some of my favorites into three groups below, but I give David the first word:

“Recognize that employee engagement is not a fluffy extra but the fundamental way you will get work done with others through conversation, co-creation, community, mutuality, and other inclusive approaches to achieve results that matter to organizations, customers, leaders, employees and yourself.” – David Zinger

Meaning & Purpose
* “Having a shared and compelling vision, continuously reinforced by communication, transparency, involvement and leading by example.” – Winston Tikaram

* “Managers and supervisors can engage employees by communicating expectations and how the employee’s role contributes to the overall big picture (sense of purpose).” – Cathy Missildine-Martin

* “Communicate the organization’s strategy to everyone in the workforce. If they aren’t exposed to the direction, goals and objectives, and given the opportunity to understand and buy into it, how can they possibly be held accountable for executing on it?” – Skip Reardon

Respect & Empowerment
* “Treat people the way they want to be treated, not the way you want to be treated.” – John Schonegevel

* “They trust you – have you told them you trust them?” – Jean Douglas

* “Don’t give someone responsibility for something, unless you are also going to give them the power to affect it.” – Samantha Wood

Culture of Recognition
* “People honor a culture that honors them. Take the time to recognize, appreciate, value and honor your people.” – Bernie Donkerbrook

* “Focus on what your employees are doing right with praise and recognition and coach them in the areas in which they require development, supporting them through their learning process.” – Madeline McQueen

* “Don’t rely on the annual employee evaluation – give positive and developmental feedback every day if necessary so that employees always know where they stand.” – Brian Jones

What was my one sentence of advice? “Specifically, clearly and consistently tell employees what behaviors and efforts are most necessary for company success by thanking and recognizing them when they demonstrate those behaviors in daily work.”

What’s your one sentence of engagement advice?

4 comment(s):

At February 19, 2010 1:47 PM, Skip Reardon said...

Thanks for including my comment about employee engagement in your blog post!

At February 19, 2010 1:50 PM, Derek Irvine said...

You're welcome, Skip. Very powerful advice indeed. I've written about the importance of alignment a few times in the last months, and your advice speaks directly to this. Especially with the changes in direction that many companies are experiencing due to the recession, how can you not invest the time and effort in ensuring all employees not only know what your objectives are, but also how to contribute to achieving them in their daily work?

At February 19, 2010 4:15 PM, Kerry Rustin said...

In one sentence:
Positive behavior, if ignored, diminishes and negative behavior, if ignored, increases, therefore firstly leaders must pay attention.

At February 19, 2010 4:29 PM, Derek Irvine said...

Excellent addition, Kerry. Just as employees seek meaning and purpose, they want to know that they and their work are seen and noticed. If not, the effects you indicate will certainly occur.