by Jim Bruce
Last week’s Tuesday Reading, “Employee Engagement – What?” focused on what employee engagement is. According to Kevin Kruse in Employee Engagement 2.0, “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck or just for that next promotion, but on behalf of the organization’s goals.”
I noted last week that employee engagement is important because highly engaged employees have more positive attitudes at work and about work, and are more productive. They go beyond just doing the tasks they are directly responsible for. They actively engage in the work of their team, look for ways to innovate, to improve their products and services, and to build relationships with their clients.
Data from the Dale Carnegie Training Survey, as well as from several other national employee engagement surveys, suggest that there are three primary drivers to employee engagement:
Of these three, the first, the employees’ relationship with his or her direct supervisor, is, and has been for a number of years, seen as the most important. There is, however, one caveat: Some recent research suggests that the employee’s relationship with peers on the team and across the organization is becoming important and in some instances may rival the employee’s relationship with the direct supervisor. And another study, which examined the impact of factors outside of work, reminds us that “the entire person comes to work,” and therefore that there are many external influences that also affect each employee’s engagement at work.
Given the importance of the employee’s relationship with his or her direct supervisor, it is worthwhile to ask, what does the employee expect from the supervisor? Here are five expectations that seem most important:
Given these expectations that engaged employees have, what steps might a direct supervisor take to advance the engagement of his or her team? I encourage you to think about this and formulate several actions that you might want to take with your team.
Have a great week. . . . Jim