Want Engaged Employees? Give Them a Voice

Linda Dulye's picture

This month, Dulye & Co. president and founder Linda Dulye contributed an article to IABC's Communication World publication about how companies in every industry can move past "engagement" as a tagline and use it as a powerful competitive advantage.

Here's an excerpt:

Think back to some of the failed change initiatives or programs you've experienced and you'll see a pattern – it's not a good one. We often hear from clients that new initiatives are greeted with a collective roll of the eyes by workers because the program is merely "more of the same." The reason is that the people farthest away from the real, day-to-day challenges of the business – senior leaders – make changes without understanding the impact these changes can have on productivity, morale and overall engagement.

These efforts miss the mark when the organization decides top leaders will push the change through the business while leaving employees on the sidelines. In our experience, top leader-driven change initiatives do little, if anything, to generate employee support at the launch, much less engagement once the changes become standard operating procedure. Why? The web of bureaucratic red tape tends to get watered down to the point of being almost meaningless. If your leadership is serious about making changes that matter, they must give employees the keys and let them drive organizational change.

Engagement, in our view, isn't about high rankings on an employee survey. Is that an important component? Absolutely. But more often than not, surveys track satisfaction on how committed an employee is to the business, its goals and mission. To achieve that level of engagement, employees need some skin in the game. Is your business prepared to offer that opportunity?

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