Entrepreneur.com released an interesting article and associated Infographic this week titled Stopping Employees From Jumping Ship is Easier Than You Think. It’s not just a catchy title, it provides some interesting facts and poses some interesting questions regarding managers’ roles in employee engagement.
With that said, the question that companies have been trying to answer since the beginning of time is not how do we stop employees from just jumping ship, but how do we get them to want to be on our ship, engaged, committed, motivated and prepared to row in the same direction.
Without question, frequent, specific, and relevant feedback from a manager is a critical factor. However, the question that comes to my mind is…“If it is that easy, then why do organizations continue to invest considerable amounts of money, time and resources measuring and evaluating their ability to increase employee engagement?” To answer that question, let’s first take a look at how we are defining engagement:
Engagement is the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organization and how hard they work and how long they stay as a result of the commitment – Corporate Leadership Council
In short, engagement is about building committed employees. So the next logical question is…how does a manager influence this? Let’s look at three factors:
- Connection – Managers clearly articulate company goals within and across functions through internal communication & objective setting, leading to employees understanding the connection between their work and company strategy.
- Contribution – Managers set realistic expectations so employees understand the importance of their job to the success of the company.
- Trust – Employees trust their manager will set direction, and provide the resources and development needed to be successful.
In summary, not only do managers need to provide frequent, specific and relevant feedback on how employees are performing… they must also:
- Provide a clear line of sight between how employees efforts lead to performance and ultimately deliver results that are valued by the organization.
- Ensure individuals have the necessary tools and resources available to enable performance.
- Provide access to training and non-training experiences designed to produce the necessary skills and knowledge for employees to be successful.