On Tuesday, August 19, I attended two different HR events, quite inter-related, both with excellent presenters.
At the annual joint RWHRMA (Raleigh Wake Human Resource Mgt Assoc) and TSHRM (Triangle Society for Human Resource Mgt) lunch meeting, Consultant, Speaker and Leadership Coach Rich Schlentz, spoke on “Your Employees Have Quit – They Just Haven’t Left.” Earlier that morning, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce sponsored an HR workshop, “Small Business Workplace Accountability, led by Molly Hegeman, VP of HR Services for CAI (link). Clearly these two topics, engagement and accountability, go hand in hand.
First, it is important to define these two key terms – engagement and accountability.
Engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and it goals, often resulting in willingness to volunteer discretionary effort.
Accountability is a personal willingness, after the fact, to answer for the results of our behaviors and actions, regardless of how things turn out.
In the pre-meeting materials for Rich Schlentz’s (Founder and Chief Enthusiasm Officer at EXTRAordinary! Inc.- link), Rich provided some very compelling statistics and why employee engagement is so critical to business success:
• Engaged employees average 27% less absenteeism than those who are disengaged.
• Workgroups with lower engagement average 62% more accidents.
• Higher levels of team engagement equate to 12% higher customer satisfaction score.
• Engaged teams average 18% higher productivity and 12% higher profitability.
In his luncheon presentation, Rich asserted that HR needs to take the lead in providing processes and tools to build engagement, with the management team taking the engagement endeavor seriously. His three points for leading in engagement included making it personal, stepping into the employees’ world, and craving feedback.
Molly Hegeman’s morning workshop was focused on employee accountability for small businesses, but truly the materials are totally applicable to organizations of all sizes, and complemented the session on employee engagement. To be engaged, employees and managers need to be accountable. Accountability manifests itself in employees being present for their entire work time, completing the tasks assigned to them and working well with others toward the common business goals. Molly then shared alarming statistics that a vast majority of global and US employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged on their jobs.
Molly provided three critical areas of focus for building accountability: Vision/Purpose, Managers and HR Systems / Processes. Management Strategies for increasing employee engagement include:
• Providing variety to avoid tedious work and burnout
• Conducting periodic employee meetings, and make them meaningful
• Providing mobility to allow for the right people to get into the right jobs
• Communicating openly and clearly
• Really getting to know the employees
• Consistently communicate the purpose and values of the organization
• Celebrating individual, team and organizational success.
FYI, my company, Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, builds employee engagement through engaging employees in meaningful long term career planning using the innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping process, and though engaging in diversity initiatives.