Engagement and Metrics ...Communication in the Marketplace Series - Part III

So, breaking barriers is all about a balancing act of communication....a balancing act of managing people and communication...It is also about getting people business-centered, interested, engaged, together. Have you looked at a salad? You need to get the correct mix of ingredients, measure it in a bowl, balance the taste, make it and keep it appealing, engaging! And afterwards, people's satisfaction is the measure of your success.

Engagement: Measure, Mix, Input, Get Your Metrics Results

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There, is the so famous word: engagement! We talk so much about engagement these days, but in all objectivity, it is nothing new. Employers have made every effort to keep their employees engaged throughout times, even before the industrial revolution. What is engagement, anyway? It is what makes your employee coming back in the morning with a smile, a good disposition, a happy heart and light footsteps...Should I say it is what makes them going back home with a heavy briefcase? In any event, it is what drives them to meet their personal and the business metrics, and succeed.

It is not about what this manager said so abruptly "The bottom line is that we all come to work because we have to provide for our families!" Ouch! what a blunder! True maybe, but it is not the message that we want to convey on a daily basis. Certainly not what we want employees to think about when they open the door every morning! Don't make your people your weakest link!

Engagement initiatives cannot be a carrot and stick process: Oh! we made our metrics, hooray! We missed some opportunities, forget about such or such incentive. It cannot be a punctual project. There are a few basic steps to engagement:
  1. If you want to have engaged employees: start by recruiting the right ones!  The other day, one young manager shared with me his frustration: the best performers at interviews often reveal themselves as lacking the professional stamina or drive once on the job. Maybe because they only had the drive to get the job. As recruiters, we failed to dissociate interest in getting a job, and interest in a job. The most persuasive interviewees are not always the best hires. So, train your hiring managers. Make sure people understand your business metrics. This will prevent frustration and disappointment.
  2. If you want to keep your people engaged, there is a minimum prerequisite: you have to share information. The more people know, the more empowered they will feel, the more confident and trustful they will be, the better ambassadors of your company they will become. How can you defend what you don't know? Give your people the chance to understand what your business is about, your goals, what are the consequences of meeting those goals or lack of getting positive results.

Move the Cheese...Share the Cheese

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  1. Information sharing does not have to be detrimental to the organization or individuals. Transparency is sharing good and bad news, in a timely and sensitive fashion. Don't let people guess: it is your worst enemy! This will lead to speculations and productivity and morale issues. Tough times? Explain! A major issue these days is the health care reform. What does it mean for your company: layoffs, reduction in hours, higher insurance deductibles and premium? Or maybe no changes?  Don't give your best people the chance to look somewhere else! Be transparent.
  2. No lip service, please!! Genuinely communicate! Don't say that you listen when you dismiss employees' feedback. Show that you care about employees' concerns. I have seen two very different kinds of leadership, working side by side. I bet you have witnessed the same at some point in your career.
    • Leader A would address a management issue in silence: nothing would ever be said to the complainant as a feedback.- Most likely however, the "culprit" would get some type of warning: you know, you have to document!...But nobody would ever know if the issue was ever addressed or not. In fact, employees would be threatened or feel so in one way or another - sounds like retaliation?
    • Leader B would talk to the complainant and will assure that the issue will be addressed in a "proper" fashion. Did that really happen? I trust so. Did leader B get results? A mix of fear and respect.
    • In either case, results would not always be obvious to the complainant, but you guessed correctly. Leader B was a better communicator and actually enthused employees. Leader B would actually get people engaged!
  3. Also, get people really involved. Involvement is what it means, literally! It cannot be artificially-created. People are not robots. You cannot make them successfully carry out a project if you do not win their buy-in beforehand. Yes, you got it! Before you assign a project to one of your executives, make sure that you choose the right assignee. Make sure that the leaders have the needed mindsets. They need to be willing to learn and change as needed and truly embrace engagement initiatives, projects to develop or carry-out. Let's move the cheese....
  4. And as a rule of thumb, Go meet the people! Choose whatever form you want, but talk to them. It could be a simple hello to the janitor when he crosses your path,  eating in the cafeteria, leading a focus group, facilitating a process improvement group....In big or small ways, meet the people in your own way! You find Steve Jobs tyrannic? Well, some people came back to him, right? Be present.  It has to be your personal touch. You don't need popularity: you need to be actively present. Earn people's trust.  Make it your personal metric. It goes alongside your personal branding.
  5. Final note, engagement!? Simple, frankly... It is getting people's attention, keeping them interested, satisfied, and involved. In other terms, it is mostly SHARING!! sharing information, sharing common events, sharing common rewards. Make sure you truly convey the notion of sharing: it is not just organizing, or giving, or doing something for the people. A Christmas tree can be pretty and elaborate, but we all agree that an artificial one is no substitute for a "real" tree. Or Holidays are not complete without your favorite family dish or goodies... Fond childhood memories, right?... Engagement is about the simple things: giving the group a sense of unity and belonging, and keeping it alive. If you haven't grasped the application of that concept, you have missed what engagement is about. Engagement is about keeping the lines of communication open. Keep the doors open, break those barriers, step out of the box, bring things in full circle. Share the cheese!
 Share the cheese and give yourself a five!

En Synthèse.....

En Synthèse

Parlons Engagement

Nous avons parlé  de l'engagement du personnel. En un mot, c'est un enjeu stratégique qui se résoudrait à éviter que ce soit purement et simplement des mots, "encore et toujours des mots, rien que des mots"!

Et oui, c'est si simple que cela: donner un sens à la vie commune d'entreprise, vous assurer que vous avez la personne qu'il faut au poste qu'il faut, le bon chef de projet qui croit au projet et va le supporter en tant que professionnel....j'en ai vu moi, des chefs de projets qui rechignent et disent aux employés que cela ne vaut pas la peine!...Triste, vraiment! Mais encore, cela dépend du cadre de l'entreprise, je l'avoue...Si vos chefs de projets pensent et disent "à quoi bon", il est temps de faire une réévaluation...Voyez par vous-mêmes les tendances 2012-2013

L'engagement, cela commence au recrutement: sachez recruter, choisir les bons joueurs...c'est comme une bonne salade. Il vous faut les bons ingrédients et la bonne mesure des condiments...Les RH, c'est une science et un art à la fois, rien de nouveau, là!
J'aimerai souligner cinq points sensibles: 
  1. La transparence: ne donnez pas la chance à vos employés d'aller chercher ailleurs. Vous voulez garder vos atouts. Informez à temps, sans manipulations...
  2. Sachez communiquer: pas de fausses notes, pas de coups bas...même si vous ne comprenez pas le pourquoi de ce mémo du Siège....mais encore et surtout, ne déformez pas les infos parce que vous n’êtes pas trop content...Sachez sauver la face...Oh! A vrai dire, pas tellement un problème de la majorité des cultures Européennes...
  3. Ayez vos RH participer à la vie d'entreprise, sous toutes les formes..
  4. Parlez aux gens, allez à leur rencontre,  donnez-leur une chance de vous "connaître"... 
  5. Simple, en somme: partagez en toute simplicité....laissez les portes ouvertes
Au fond, qui ne veut pas être engagé? Chacun veut être partie intégrante de sa famille de travail! Allez, partagez le bon vin! Le meilleur est celui que l'on partage...


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