I’ve written previously about my view of the three most important metrics to measure a business’s health. They are employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. While each of these is important, the latter two are difficult for an individual to change quickly. Employee engagement, however, is something that is in the hands of every leader, every day — whether you’re managing one, ten, a thousand, or ten thousand.
My hope is that readers will take this suggested New Year’s resolution to heart — and on their first day back to work, will begin thinking through the means of improving their employees’ engagement. They’ll ask themselves these questions: Has my team really bought in to the mission? Do they understand where we’re going, and why we’re doing what we do to get there? Equally important, or perhaps more important, have I made it clear to them what’s in it for them when we get there? Am I celebrating their achievements, reaching the milestones we’ve established? Am I coaching them in a constructive manner so that they feel I have their back? Do they always know where they stand? Have I given them the freedom and the authority to raise these same questions with their team?
Going through this exercise, not just in January but monthly for the first quarter and then quarterly, should really help get everybody on the same page. Sometime during the year, you’ll do whatever blind survey you do to measure employee engagement. I always thought, and still do believe, that the best question in an Employee Engagement survey was: Do you experience in your “everyday work” the message that management is preaching in meetings, speeches, and annual reports? That question gets at the issue of whether management is walking the talk or just blowing smoke.
We’re all very comfortable making resolutions in our personal lives, whether it be about weight, smoking, or whatever. Resolutions in business may seem corny, but what’s corny about getting your people all fired up about their work lives and the rewards that come with success?