We believe that if you clearly connect the day-to-day activities of people to the goals the organization needs to achieve through their valuable work outputs, and then align and balance all the factors that influence their ability to perform, you will fully engage your employees. But let’s drop down to the working level beyond theory for a moment (even though we’ve proven the theory with clients!). Assuming that you know about the Performance Chain and the Six Boxes Model, here are eight steps that will help you strengthen employee engagement.
- Define expectations (Box 1) for employees at 3 levels: Micro (immediate job requirements), Macro (how their jobs contribute to company mission), and Mega (how company contributes to society). This creates multiple levels of context and connects everyone through purpose.
- Take a snapshot of your feedback frequency (Box 1) and quality. Count how often feedback is provided, in what form, and the ratio of positive to negative. The result will tell you what to change and how.
- Evaluate and improve your employees’ access to tools and resources (Box 2). When we feel that we have what we need to do our job (and actually DO), and that someone is helping us get there, we feel empowered to execute.
- Reward the behavior you want with positive consequences that are really important or desirable to the employee (Box 3 & 6). Some people want public recognition and awards, some want money, some want their team noticed, and some just want eye contact and a pat on the back. When we feel like our manager understands our style, we feel listened to and appreciated.
- Make sure that employees have career path options that match their interests and talents (Box 5 & 6). Use the Six Boxes to design development plans preparing employees for their next roles on the path.
- Work with each employee to identify what they deliver in outputs to their various “customers” (The Performance Chain). This will clarify job expectations and help them ask for what they need to do their jobs better.
- Ask employees directly what they think they're good at doing and what they prefer to do (Boxes 5 and 6). Does this match the job requirements? Can the job be “customized” to align it better to the employee’s strengths? Does the employee feel valued for what they contribute? Consider how you can alter the expected outputs and how you support the employee to ensure they feel that what they’re good at is aligned with what the company needs from them.
- Refer to the Six Boxes Model and focus on the top row. Are you doing everything you can to support optimum performance? We’d bet you’ll find at least one significant opportunity to create an environment that will increase your employee’s engagement and job satisfaction.