There is no shortage of organizations focusing on employee engagement or employee satisfaction or the misguided “vote for us to be the best place to work” initiatives. The desire to achieve any of those efforts has really taken off almost to the point of being trite and going through the motions.
Searching Google as of the date of this article:
- Employee engagement = 53.4 million results
- Employee satisfaction = 17.3 million results
- Best places to work = 2.7 billion results
Let’s not quibble over what “results” means when you are searching for something. The point is that these are all hot topics that seem to be gaining momentum. These goals have even trickled into state government departments and perhaps other areas of government as well.
What does this goal mean? What does success look like? Based on a lot of articles that I have read, initiatives that I have participated in as well as initiatives I have been an outside observer on, many have the wrong ideas and are going about striving for it the wrong way.
When trying to establish your organization in one of these categories, it isn’t about fun and games. It isn’t about carrots and prizes. It isn’t even about the break room, free food or free coffee or at least it shouldn’t be. However that is exactly what I see, read and hear about when talking to other business leaders about these types of initiatives. I call this the “what can we bribe them with” approach. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to have fun and give spiffs, they just don’t have a place in achieving these initiatives.
Another unintended consequence of trying to focus on your employee’s happiness is that the leaders and managers can become a dumpster. What this means is that they try to offload some of the workload by assuming the responsibilities themselves. They do this under the “see what I am doing to help you out” mentality. The act usually goes unnoticed, causes you as the leader to focus on the wrong things and when it comes time to transfer those activities back your employee may not be able to cope with the larger workload.
Don’t suffer a death by happy meter. The best way to promote employee engagement, employee satisfaction and even to become the best place to work is to ensure you align the strategies of the organization to the goals that roll down to the staff. Then ensure the mechanisms are in place to report to those employees where they are with their goals. Yes it really is that simple.
When the goals of every employee are aligned with the organizations overall strategies every employee knows how what they do impacts the company and that their work is purposeful and matters. When there are proper measures, scorecards and a feedback system in place every employee knows where they stand, how they are doing and what they need to do better. Giving your employees these things along with adequate training leads to engagement, satisfaction, retention and them voting you the best place to work.
Agree or disagree? Use the comments below to get the conversation started.
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