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Employee Engagement: Leading by Example

Many companies have begun employee engagement initiatives, realizing that employees who are engaged at work will perform at higher levels and accomplish more. But there is no universal solution to drive employee engagement through the ceiling. It takes a commitment from the entire organization – starting at the top.

Decision makers in your company have reached their position for a reason, they’re leaders. A good manager will lead by example, and their staff will strive to meet the boss’s expectations. However, if a manager is cutting corners, taking long lunches, or spreading negative sentiment, their employees will also follow suit. That doesn’t mean they’re bad employees, it’s the example that they’re following. When your managers and leaders buy in to an employee engagement improvement program, they will set the best example you can have, which will filter down to their employees.

A British company, Nampak Plastics, recently stated at a conference that it had made a commitment to improving employee engagement, hearing employee feedback, and highlighting employee excellence, among several other initiatives. The results speak for themselves:

“As a result, absence levels fell by 26 percent, labor turnover rates were reduced by 38 percent and overhead costs per million bottles were cut by 7 percent in 4 years.”

A successful employee engagement improvement program does not start from the bottom. Nampak Plastic’s engagement plan was implemented in the C-Suite first and cascaded down throughout the company. Water flows downhill and so does organizational change. By making a commitment to changing your company culture at the very top, employees will see the importance and assimilate the goals, sometimes subconsciously.

You cannot simply jump into an employee engagement plan, though. You first need to gauge your current levels of engagement by conducting a baseline employee engagement survey. A baseline survey has several purposes, one of the most important of which is insight into the areas that need to be improved the most – and most urgently. You may believe your engagement levels are higher than they actually are, or hopefully, vice versa. Regardless, armed with initial research results, you’ll know the processes or departments on which you need to focus. By refining your scope, you won’t waste time and resources on areas that don’t need immediate attention.

Once you’ve established your employee engagement improvement plan and executed it, conduct another employee engagement survey to measure your progress. You will see significant improvement if your leaders demonstrated commitment to the top-to-bottom approach and worked the agreed to plan. NBRI can deliver a comprehensive roadmap for your engagement improvement plan. With survey questions written by organizational psychologists and industry benchmarking data, we’ll make sure you collect valid data that can be used to increase your company’s employee engagement. You can get in touch with us by filling out our contact form or by calling us at 800-756-6168.

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