Lisa had an excellent post yesterday about becoming a reason other folks decide to stay at your organization. She cited a couple of studies and the whole post is well worth reading.
Now today, I notice a similar article in the February issue of Accenture Outlook. Their ‘Harnessing the Power of an Engaged Workforce‘ article also cites a Gallup poll showing 71% of workers polled describe themselves as disengaged from their work. 71% is a lot. They also note that 72% of executive polled believed that engagement is critical to the success of their organizations. There’s some serious dissonance going on here. (That little graphic on the right is just my Dave Pollard impersonation–I used the very nice ‘FreeMind‘ software to create a mindmap of the Accenture article.)
Both Lisa’s post and the Accenture article note clearly that this isn’t a touchy-feely, I-know-it-when-I-see-it sort of goal. The Accenture article lists some very specific measurements that help predict workforce engagement.
I completely agree with both Accenture and Lisa. Better management encourages engagement, retention, creative problem solving, etc. Nearly all of us have had opportunities to work for managers who we’ve adored and others we’ve abhored. Remember back when you worked for the suck manager? Remember how any motivation you had went right out the window when you realized your boss didn’t care about you? Now remember that boss that did care? The one who might have been a complete hardcase, but who knew what you were capable of, and encouraged you to go to that place of excellence? Be that boss. Care about your colleagues. Care about your organization’s product or service.
Where to begin? Start by asking your employees where the roadblocks are, and actively work to remove them. And let them know what you’re doing to remove those roadblocks. This only takes an occasional email to them to let them know you’re working on it, and thinking about them. Seriously, sometimes a roadblock can be something as easy as a new chair for someone. You gonna let a chair be the reason someone leaves the company? Don’t let the chairs win.