Last Tuesday, February 11th, many of you joined us for our first webcast: Seven Steps to Become an Engagement Role Model for Employees sponsored by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).
We had a really good turnout and received many questions that generated a lot of discussion with us and in the chat area of the webcast. However, we could not get to answer some of them. We decided to answer them here.
Let’s get started.
Can engagement be trained?
The foundation of engagement is an emotional connection. We believe that the skills to foster engagement can be trained, but the end result is really up to how the relationship between manager and employee works out.
Which is the most important driver of engagement?
The most important driver of engagement is the manager-employee relationship because it is the basis of any employee’s trajectory through what we call in our book the engagement “I” path. In other words, what the employee goes through to become or not become engaged.
How do I know if I am engaged?
You can assess your own level of engagement in many ways. You have to know where you are before you begin to address engagement with others. We suggest that you start by asking yourself if you are emotionally connected to your manager, your team, and your company followed by whether or not you care about engagement and what it means to you. You may add feedback from trusted others to compare your self-assessment with how others see you.
How do I know that I am doing the right thing for my employees?
The results of employee engagement surveys will give you valuable information about your employees’ engagement that could be tied to what you are doing. However, we believe that those alone will not tell you the entire story. Trust your observations. Is your team loyal to you? Are they willing to do what it takes to get the job done because YOU are asking them to do so? Are employees from other divisions always willing to come to your team? What about the feedback that you are getting from your own leaders? Your answers to these questions will help you to determine if what you are doing is the right thing for your employees.
How is the perfect manager-employee relationship?
We believe that a solid manager-employee relationship would be based on mutual respect and trust where the manager takes time to get to know her employee as an individual and as a professional. Only then the manager will be ready to promote employee engagement.
Does engagement stay the same throughout someone's career?
An employee’s engagement does not stay the same throughout his career. Employees go through a series of stages as they enter the workforce or start in a new workplace. You as a manager need to optimize every opportunity to foster an employee’s engagement, particularly, during critical incidents or turning points that will occur. Make sure that the employee will stay engaged. It’s all about the “I”.
Is engagement tied to time on the job or experience?
Time on the job is a factor because both manager and employee will know each other better. The employee will have a different sense of the workplace over time, the quality of the experience in the company and, in particular, of the relationship with the manager will be the main contributor to engagement.