Employee engagement continues to be a challenge for many businesses and organizations. Bain & Company recently conducted a survey on employee engagement and the results were startling:
- Employees with tenure scored the lowest on engagement scores, meaning that those with the most knowledge were the least engaged.
- Engagement scores decreased as you progress down the chain of command. So those with the most contact with customers and products are more likely to be disengaged than idealistic executives.
- Sales and service employees are more likely to be disengaged.
Still there are companies who have managed to excel in an engagement culture, without the threat of reprimands by executives or through excessive engagement seminars. Instead the motivation to get engaged with customers and the company comes from the front lines; supervisors and senior associates.
Supervisors Lead the Way in Employee Engagement
Employees will respond more readily to energetic and passionate supervisors, than to distant executive directives. Therefore it is imperative that executives imbue direct supervisors with the authority to find creative solutions to employee engagement issues.
Supervisors Have Constructive Dialogues with Team Members
Companies must invest in training supervisors in constructive dialogue techniques. This enables them to engage in sensitive conversations relating to performance and engagement goals. Coaching also teaches supervisors how to recognize undesirable engagement patterns and how to effectively address them.
Teams Know the Customer
Ground level employee knowledge about their customers is key to increased engagement. These employees know what the customer wants, dislikes, and wishes your company provided. Companies who thrive on the employee engagement model talk to sales and service associates annually about customer needs and desires. Implementing associate suggestions will make them feel like their ideas matter and increase their engagement and loyalty to the company and its patrons.