Employee Engagement is the Number 1 Leadership Problem in Organizations Today!
Why do we say this? We base this on the following observations:
- Our own 30 plus years of experience as senior leaders in complex organizations
- A review of several impressive studies (Bain, Hewitt, Gallup to name a few)
- Multiple Harvard Business Review articles, daily LinkedIn posts, ExecRank studies, etc. underscore the growing chasm between organizational mission and employee engagement, particularly among the Millennial generation.
A recently Bain & Company, in conjunction with Netsurvey, study analyzed responses from 200,000 employees across 40 companies in 60 countries and found several troubling trends:
- Engagement scores decline with employee tenure, meaning that employees with the deepest knowledge of the company typically are the least engaged.
- Engagement scores decline as you go down the org chart, so highly engaged senior executives are likely to underestimate the discontent on the front lines.
- Engagement levels are lowest among sales and service employees, who have the most interactions with customers.
AON Hewitt reports in the 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement “Attracting and retaining the talent needed for business performance will be challenging enough. Making engagement happen is the ultimate objective. Companies that can redefine a compelling employee value proposition to balance the economic, technological, demographic and social challenges ahead will win.”
The report further indicates: “Leaders hold the key to employee engagement. Engaging leaders to think, feel and act in a different way than do typical leaders. Leaders have a multiplier effect on engagement in that they affect engagement through control over all of the top drivers, in addition to having a direct effect on the engagement of others through their interactions”
Our experience as senior executive leaders, board members and consultants has demonstrated time and again that employees and customers want to be part of something greater than themselves and make a difference in their work. This leads to a unique symmetry of interests where each either hopes or expects that the other will engage at high levels of mutual commitment.
Employee First Purpose Driven Teams:
We believe that there is an opportunity to increase employee engagement by having employees work together in Employee First Purpose Driven Teams that explore, support and engage an individual employee’s sense of purpose working to then connect that to the mission and purpose of the organization.
This is a process that must be driven by a sophisticated leadership and employee engagement focus that then has the potential to produce extraordinary results.
The power of a mission that drives and ties together organizational and personal employee purpose then becomes not just a sophisticated branding exercise but a process that puts employees first in the evolution of the organization. This is accomplished by exploring each individual employee’s sense of meaning and purpose in the context of the vision of the organization to meet its mission, purpose and meaning in the market to its customers.
We believe that connecting the organization’s mission and employee’s purpose maximizes employee engagement. Directed and curated purpose driven employee engagement then becomes a key driver of organizational performance. Leaders who focus on integrating mission and employee purpose hold the key to ensuring that employees have fulfilling work.
The challenge is to develop the right processes to create a strong connection between personal purpose and organizational mission.
We are committed to working with leaders to assist them in making a significant difference in this problem, and we believe we have some excellent practices. Below you will find an outline of our strategy. Organizations may sign up for all or portions of our Employee First Program.
Employee First Program Components:
Best Practice Guidebook – A compendium of industry best practices in how to engage employees at all generational levels. We will provide unique variations by industry related to generational engagement, communication, leadership, change management, innovation, reward and recognition incentives, etc. Our research studies will help organizations and leaders learn to better create and coach teams to be purpose driven. Purpose stories across industries on how to maximize employee purpose engagement within the organization will be shared.
Employee First Culture Creation – The Board and the Executive Team are charged with creating, monitoring and inspiring organizational culture. We recommend a joint Board and Executive Leadership Culture Task Force to address the engagement process throughout the organization. Key points for reflection will include human resource policies, inter-generational interactions, demographic interfaces, etc. with respect to implementation of and employee engagement to the organizations mission.
Employee First Modules – Educational and experiential modules taught by our employees initially and then by leaders who we certify as coaches within your organization. These modules give experiential and educational support to the concept that employee engagement is encouraged when leaders take the time to listen to each employee’s sense of personal purpose and then set up processes to connect that to the organizations’ mission, purpose, vision and promise.
Employee First Coach Certification Process – We will offer a coaching certification process for leaders within your organization trained in how to deliver Employee First Modules.
Employee First Mentor Certification Process – Mentorship is a time tested process whereby more senior individuals provide guidance and advice to younger individuals. This is a process that is outside the performance management system and has great promise in engaging, retaining and inspiring younger employees. We will train and certify selected employees.
Employee Purpose Driven Teams – We will train senior and middle management leaders how to create and manage Employee Purpose Driven Teams through our Modular Methodology. The focus is on connecting organizational Mission, Purpose, Vision and Promise to employee engagement with the goal to inspire innovative practices throughout the organization.
“We Make A Difference” Company Designation – For companies that meet our “We Make A Difference Checklist” (culture, engagement programs, generative Board and Executive Leadership status, etc.) we offer a We Make A Difference Certification.
“We Make A Difference” Summits – We hold We Make A Difference Summits to bring together board members, executive leaders and company coaches and mentors to share industry best practices, provide certification and advance connection to innovative ideas on people make a difference inside their organizations.
Founder Organizational “We Make A Difference Designation” – If you are interested in joining a select group of organizations to lead the “We Make A Difference” organizational philosophy and practices movement, please contact us.