If You’re A Leader, Is Employee Engagement Your Top Priority? It Should Be

Beth Miller |

Leaders, take a look at your employee engagement. Could it be improved?

Have you thought about your influence and role in driving engagement within your organization?

The first step in focusing on employee engagement is measuring it. Here is a method for measuring engagement in your organization as well as ways you, as a leader, can improve engagement.

Q12: A tool to measure employee engagement

Through rigorous research, the Gallup Organization has identified 12 specific workplace conditions that provide a direct link to organizational and employee success. These factors are called Q12. Leaders should be asking themselves these questions as a first step to improved employee engagement.

12 questions leaders can ask themselves, adapted from Gallup’s Q12:

  1. Do those I lead know what is expected of them at work?
  2. Do my employees have the materials and equipment needed to do their work right?
  3. Do my employees have the opportunity to do what they do best everyday?
  4. Do my employees receive recognition or praise for doing good work at least once a week?
  5. Do my employees feel like their direct supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about them as people?
  6. Do I encourage the development of your employees?
  7. Do I consider the opinions of your employees? Do they feel like their opinions are listened to?
  8. Do I communicate the mission or purpose of your organization in a way that makes employees feel that their jobs are important?
  9. Is everyone committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do my employees have friends at work? How can you encourage employees to be friendly with one another?
  11. Do I regularly—at least every six months—talk to each employee about their progress?
  12. Do I create opportunities for your employees to learn and grow?
And if you want to have a more rigorous approach to answering the question of “what level of engagement do my employees have?” use an employee engagement survey such as those offered by Quantum Workplace, WorldBlu, or Engagient.

Think about ways you can improve your leadership behavior using the above questions as a guideline. Where do you fall short? And what steps can you take to improve?

More ways leaders can develop employee engagement

Because the idea of employee engagement can be a difficult concept to grasp, here is a good definition: “Employee engagement is the art of getting people to believe what you want them to believe.”

Here are some action items you can do:

  • Create ongoing dialogue with employees. Take a personal interest in each employee.
  • Build trust with your employees by keeping your promises and backing them up.
  • Listen actively to your employees, ask great questions and creating an environment of transparency.
  • Realize you can be a powerful role model for those you lead. Employees seek out leadership.
  • Have the courage to be honest even when the message is difficult.
  • Know that improving employee engagement will take time and a lot of effort on your part and on the part of the employees. But in the end, everyone will be happier.

Leaders might also be interested in my article about improving your leadership skills by consciously modeling leadership behaviors.

How will you lead employee engagement to increased levels in your own organization?

Photo Credit: Flickr user US Department of Labor

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Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller’s passion for learning, and dedication to helping others, are strands woven throughout her distinguished career, which continue to guide her work with Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. As a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer, Beth holds herself to a rigorous standard of excellence, and she encourages her clients to do the same when pursuing their goals.

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