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Put A Ring On It For Employee Engagement

  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • September 19, 2013
Photo courtesy of © iStock/Thinkstock

Most of us are familiar with Beyonce’s song, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” depicting, “if you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it”.

The truth is, employee engagement is much like engagement in personal relationships.

Employee engagement means different things to different firms. Before you can determine the level of employee engagement in your firm:

  • Define what employee engagements means to your firm
  • Establish a criteria measurement list
  • Design a system to measure engagement levels

Employee Engagement Aligns With Personal And Business Goals

BlessingWhite’s Employee Engagement Research Report – 2013, reveals, “Engaged employees are not just committed. They are not just passionate or proud.

They have a line-of sight on their own future and on the organization’s mission and goals.

They are enthused and in gear, using their talents and discretionary effort to make a difference in their employer’s quest for sustainable business success.” Employee engagement is directly correlated to employee rate of retention.

Measuring Employee Engagement

Most firms have implemented an employee engagement survey system. If you haven’t, it is critical to the bottom line and success of your firm to make it a priority. Once a year doesn’t cut the mustard. Top performing firms complete engagement surveys on a frequent basis. Well-designed surveys will provide you with a quantitative measure such as a score from 1 to 10 or a percentage. Avoid placing 100% of your focus on the survey outcome by developing solutions to meet employee needs both personally and professionally.  Engaged employees have the following in common:

  • They feel valued
  • They are recognized for a job well done
  • They understand their role and purpose in the firm
  • They possess knowledge of their duties and the firm’s mission and vision
  • They trust the leadership or management team
  • They are listened to

How Management Teams Matter To Engagement

Gallup reports the number one reason employees leave their current position is due to a poor relationship with their boss or other management.  Choosing and evaluating the leadership of your firm is critical to your employee retention rate and engagement level. According to the Dale Carnegie Institute: a “caring” manager is one of the key elements that drives employee engagement. That is, employees want their managers to care about their personal lives, to take an interest in them as people, to care about how they feel and support their health and well-being. A manager’s ability to build strong relationships with employees, build strong team interaction and lead in a “person-centered” way creates an engaging environment in which employees can perform at the highest possible level.

How You Can Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement begins with hiring the right person for the right job. Hiring managers must provide new employees with a realistic job preview, provide on-the-job training and offer access to additional training or education. Employee engagement is significantly higher when the components listed above are utilized. One of the biggest excuses from management regarding low employee engagement is, “It is beyond my control”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Employee engagement is modeled by the leadership in your firm.

Understanding how a person is motivated is by knowing what they value. Incorporate a “values-list” in your employee engagement survey. Once values are understood, incorporate motivational methods to increase engagement.

Leading businesses in employee engagement have shared these ideas to boost engagement levels:

Gifts – Please make it more than a bouquet of flowers or a gift card. Although these are nice from time to time, their sentiment wears off. Use your creativity to find a gift relating to a specific project completed by your team or an individual. The gift along with the story will be remembered and told for years.

Money Does Matter – Study after study has shown when specific behaviors are tied to a significant dollar, the behaviors are more likely to occur.

Other Rewards And Incentives – Utilize other methods such as; recognition, awards for distinguished service, an extra day off or tickets to a unique event in your community.

When your team is aware of the direct link between their level of engagement, behaviors and productivity to rewards they value, they are motivated to engage into over-drive. This creates a win-win combination as the team and the company move toward the same goals.

In Conclusion

Managed properly, employee engagement systems will provide loyalty and devotion for your firm adding to a more positive and enjoyable office culture. Listen to your team, hear them and take them seriously. Rewards after engagement is lost; it is too little and too late.

Don’t assume you know your team levels of engagement without a system in place. Rather, be pro-active by utilizing your system, if you have one, or implementing a system if you don’t.

The survey results will guide your firm to become a threat to your competition, increase employee retention, performance and overall career satisfaction as well as increased client satisfaction and firm profitability.  Enough said? ….Put A Ring On It!

Question:  Do you measure employee engagement?

 Tell us how you do it!  Share your comments here.

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.