By Jim Taylor, Career Partners International – Florida/Caribbean
All of us in the talent management industry can speak to the benefits of having an engaged workforce. While I do agree this engagement is beneficial to all, and to the bottom line, I also believe it can be a bit misleading. Here’s what I mean.
A more attainable goal might be to develop and further engage your company’s most engaged leaders. Not only is this more efficient, it also trains the people who most likely have had success at your company and have already experienced the advantages of this state of mind. This means companies should spend more time on those who are already engaged because they are the talent that will drive the organization forward with sound leadership and coaching of others.
The most realistic opportunity an organization has is to focus on the talent that is already engaged, and only bring new employees into the company who already have the attitude that you are attempting to perpetuate throughout your workforce. Of course those new employees need to be properly onboarded to ensure that they maintain a high level of engagement and excitement.
Sure, it’s always easier said than done…BUT,
- Strategic approaches that focus on the most engaged leaders further empowers them to motivate and excite their employees.
- Execution is the key to a successful endeavor here. A thorough plan utilizing your best and most engaged leaders is essential to spreading it to the rest of your organization. Also, focusing on hiring new employees with strong competencies and high alignment with your organization’s culture can help increase your leaders’ effectiveness in inspiring organizational commitment.
- Sustainability is vital. The C-suite wants to ensure a long-term return on investment (ROI). There must be touch points with leaders and employees to ensure accountability on a regular basis (monthly/quarterly). Small group meetings allow ongoing coaching activities to further sustain workforce engagement for leaders and their employees.
Traditional performance management tends to focus on the back-end of the bell curve, where employees need to improve. A more effective methodology focuses on growing strengths or areas where an individual is you already doing well. Employees are happier, and ultimately more engaged, when they are encouraged to do more in areas in which they already excel.
Leadership training could benefit from utilizing this valuable insight. Having your most engaged leaders use their own skills to empower and develop others transforms the rest of your organization, leading to a quicker and more sustainable approach to employee engagement as well as better business results.
So when you are thinking about implementing any employee engagement strategy, first think about tapping into your most engaged leaders. Enable them to lead and coach their employees to quickly deliver on your organization’s goals and develop the skills needed for continued business success.A behavioral expert with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Jim has run a national 20+ person team for executive, professional and volume recruiting for multiple industries. He’s conducted multiple behavioral studies and leadership programs over his 25 year career. His experience includes 10 years at Johnson & Johnson, and a number of years in the Wealth Management/Benefits practice of Merrill Lynch. His professional memberships include SHRM, The APA and the SIOP.