Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Engagement: an ongoing priority, not an annual event

The most successful organizations make engagement an ongoing priority, not a once-a-year event. They take a multi-faceted approach to address problem areas and improve engagement organization-wide. Their best practices include:

Maximize managers. Ensure that managers are themselves engaged and understand how to help their team members picture what full engagement can mean to them. Hold them accountable for coaching and development. Weed out bad managers.

Align, align, align. Make sure everyone in the organization understands the bigger picture and how they can contribute to the organization's success. Start at the top by aligning the executive team, then communicate clearly and tirelessly.

Redefine career. Provide employees with a clear, compelling picture of what "career" means in your organization. Help them clarify what they want, then provide them with tools and support for achieving it. Focus on development and opportunities to leverage unique skills through projects not necessarily promotions.

Pay attention to culture. Work with senior management to build a meaningful culture in the organization, then invest in managers to support and sustain it. Make sure that systems and processes work in favor of — and not in contradiction to — the aspired culture.

Ruminate over data less, act more. Develop a measurement strategy that provides actionable insights. Avoid the analysis-paralysis trap and hold leaders at all levels accountable for increasing engagement.