Engagement. How would you define it? What have you read or experienced? In the business world, it’s a widely used buzz word to describe anything from the measurement of employee morale to the quality of client interactions, and everything in between. It can seem too big to define. The reality is that an organization’s definition of engagement must be tailored and customized to its unique needs and purpose to be successful. No two companies will have the same definition of engagement.
Once you have it defined, the real question is, how do you bring it to life inside your organization? As you probably know, engagement cannot be achieved through a one-and-done training to leadership staff. It has to become a way of life for the entire organization.
The first step is to build a foundation with managers. This is your “kindling.” Present compelling market research and case studies, share the business case (ROI) for engagement efforts, and analyze the results gathered from exit and stay interviews to help demonstrate the impact employees have at all levels of the organization.
From there, develop a branded motto that all employees can embrace and rally behind. Your motto should connect all facets of your engagement definition – from employee-to-employee relations to employee-to-client interactions.
Branding your engagement process will not only provide employees with an emotional connection, it clearly establishes an environment that welcomes and facilitates open communication. When organizations provide people with the right forum to share their thoughts, are committed to building employee and client/customer relationships, and strive for both business and individual success, the spark of engagement begins to spread all on its own. Where employees begin driving it in their day-to-day lives.
Next, keep the fire of engagement burning. Ongoing trainings and forums help tie the daily efforts back to the bigger picture. You can also focus these sessions on specific engagement needs, or time them throughout the year when managers may need them the most.
Finally, even with all of the efforts listed above, you must ensure the long-term sustainability of your organization’s engagement efforts by making it an integral component of your overall business strategy. To be successful, engagement cannot be viewed as an “add on” or “nice to have.” Engagement is a business strategy that can differentiate a good company from a great company. Like any strategic plan, set clear goals that focus on the strategic expectations at the highest level and understand the importance of a balanced approach to business.
Senior Vice President
From the depths of corporate life to proudly serving our country, Tina Semotan is an innate leader. She oversees the corporate support teams within the company, including human resources, company strategy, legal, safety, training, payroll and organizational development. She also leads all post-merger and acquisition integration activities. Tina’s success can be credited to her ability to stay calm in high pressure situations, make sharp decisions, and listen fairly to each employee. She has developed and honed these skills as Force Support Squadron Commander for the Wisconsin Air National Guard. Tina holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is certified at the master level for command and leadership by the University of the Air Force.