This week ushers in a U.S. national holiday – Thanksgiving. Traced to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, it was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of a fruitful harvest.
This holiday reminds us to be grateful for both the people and circumstances in our lives. Today, a fruitful harvest could be a metaphor for being healthy, a roof over your head, your loved ones, or a workplace that values you and puts you first. Every day, leaders around the world till the soil and plant seeds, in the hopes of an abundant harvest (increased customer satisfaction and revenue growth). One seed in the packet that is often planted – but rarely fertilized and watered – is the one labeled Employee Engagement.
Many companies conduct an annual Employee Engagement Survey, but choose to not act on the feedback. Or, they respond incorrectly by outsourcing the feedback to Human Resources or by creating Culture Action Teams (basically, groups of employees who plan the holiday party and end up being thought of as the Fun Committee).
What is the most effective way to respond? Senior Leaders must take responsibility for the culture they’ve created, listen to employee feedback, and create a strategy to re-engage their most important asset – people. Then, managers must execute on the engagement strategy in the trenches with their teams, and leaders must hold managers accountable for the results, which can be seen via subsequent surveys.
It really is that simple. Employee engagement is not rocket science. In order to “win” in this space you must approach it methodically and strategically. The best news? Employees want to be engaged and will respond to sincere efforts on the behalf of leaders and managers to improve culture.
What Can I Do? Make 2019 the best year your organization has ever seen by re-engaging your employees. It begins with a survey to gather baseline data and know your starting point, prior to developing a strategy to address the areas where employees say you need to improve most. Need help? I’m an email away. Thank you for being a part of my fruitful harvest, thank you for your continued support as I continue on my journey to fix every dysfunctional business culture in the world, and most of all – thank you for your leadership. I’m grateful you are on my extended team!
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.