Employee engagement levels . . . too high is never high enough!

Business owners; senior mangers; managers; team leaders; leaders  . . . . have you recently assessed the engagement level of your workers across your organisation?  

A work environment shares so many similarities with what happens on the sporting field.   People need to be coached.   People need mentoring.   There is a requirement for training and additional training to sharpen the skill set.   And of course, there is a constant need to monitor the ‘on field performance’ of those at the coalface.    It makes sense to check the pulse of the worker.  To check on their engagement!

In many respects, the work environment is like a marathon.   It is a test of endurance.   Some days you will be the hero and rewarded for your ‘best on field’ performance.   Other days you will have a shocker and you may be benched or sacked.   Hopefully the former and less of the latter!   Nevertheless, work does share the similarities found on the sporting arena and there is a need to engage with employees by adopting a mindset of a sporting coach.

Across the globe today there is a level of discontent in the working world.   Employees are turning up with very little interest in their job.  For many, it is just a job.   It pays the bills; that’s it!

Employees’ thoughts and views about an organisation are not necessarily a reflection of those views held by senior management.   There can be an absolute disconnect between the two.   This tension can stymie progress and can cripple or severely handicap the success of the organisation notwithstanding how good the product or service is.

In her book, Stop Playing Safe, Margie Warrell states that:

Study after study done by organisations around the globe tells us that up to 50 per cent of the workforce don’t believe that what they do matters. In fact, it’s estimated that only 30 per cent of workers are actually engaged in their job and 50 per cent would leave it if they could afford to.[1]

So, if we applied these statistics to your organisation, over 50 per cent of your workers would rather be somewhere else!   Sounds high, and there is probably some truth to it.

Get busy assessing the engagement levels of your employees.   Take their pulse.   Talk to them.   Find out what makes them tick outside work.   At least know the basics.   Do they play sport?   Do they have brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews?  Humanise the work environment.   Make it fun.   Give them a voice about the direction of the business and find out how the working environment can be improved for superior performance over the course of the ‘working marathon’.

In short, and depending on the game, sport has a time out; a quarter time; a half time; a three quarter time; and a full time.   The game is broken down; analysed; assessed; commented on; adjudicated and the winner is applauded with the loser left to work harder on their failings on the training track between games.   The working environment is no different.   However, employee reviews are in most cases held annually and in some cases, forgotten; skipped or left for another day!   You can’t afford to pay lip service to the health of your employee engagement.

Ramp up your employee engagement today!   Employees are your biggest assets.   They are your biggest advocates!   Don’t be another statistic on the sheet of ‘disengagement’.    Start with the basics and build on employee engagement to see greater results over the short to medium term.   The health of your business will thank you in more ways than one!

[1] Margie Warrel, Stop Playing Safe, 2013, pg. 5