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August 6, 2009

The ten C’s of employee engagement

Filed under: General HR Buzz2:33 pm

The ten C’s of employee engagement” from The Ivey Business Journal which provides a number of insightful pointers as to what’s required to improve employee engagement. The authors describe an engaged employee as a person who:

“….is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work…… Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort exceeding dutys call to see that the organization succeeds.”

The shocking part of the employee engagement challenge is that research indicates that only between 17% and 29% (depending on the research) of employees are actively engaged in their job at any one time. This would mean that if you were a soccer or football team only 2-3 players on the team would be 100% committed to the team’s success. It seems to me that the odds of winning a game with only 2-3 players 100% committed to a teams success are pretty slim!

So, “How can leaders engage employees’ heads, hearts, and hands?“, by starting to apply the following 10 C’s of employee engagement:

  1. Connect: Leaders must show that they value employees. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss.
  2. Career: Leaders should provide challenging and meaningful work with opportunities for career advancement. Most people want to do new things in their job. For example, do organizations provide job rotation for their top talent? Are people assigned stretch goals?
  3. Clarity: Leaders must communicate a clear vision. Success in life and organizations is, to a great extent, determined by how clear individuals are about their goals and what they really want to achieve. In sum, employees need to understand what the organization’s goals are, why they are important, and how the goals can best be attained.
  4. Convey: Leaders clarify their expectations about employees and provide feedback on their functioning in the organization.
  5. Congratulate: Exceptional leaders give recognition, and they do so a lot; they coach and convey.
  6. Contribute: People want to know that their input matters and that they are contributing to the organization’s success in a meaningful way. In sum, good leaders help people see and feel how they are contributing to the organization’s success and future.
  7. Control: Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control. A feeling of “being in on things,” and of being given opportunities to participate in decision making often reduces stress; it also creates trust and a culture where people want to take ownership of problems and their solutions.
  8. Collaborate: Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams which lack good relationships. Great leaders are team builders; they create an environment that fosters trust and collaboration.
  9. Credibility: Leaders should strive to maintain a company’s reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards.
  10. Confidence: Good leaders help create confidence in a company by being exemplars of high ethical and performance standards.

Looking at the above list it seems that many of the characteristics are about practicing effective leadership. To me employee engagement is not really about the employees, it’s really about effective leadership.

How engaged are the employees in your organisation? Are you leading effectively?

by George Ambler

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