April 2007 Newsletter

Are your employees giving their all?

If you answer no to any one of the above questions, take note. Your company is likely missing out on significant cost savings and profits.

In this issue:

Make Creating and Sustaining Employee Engagement A Priority

Last month I talked about a workforce crisis, specifically an anticipated talent shortage. In short, I said, "We won't get more employees, so we have to get more out of the employees we have."

The question is: How?

In companies of any size, there's really only one answer: by creating and sustaining employee engagement and making it a priority.

Unfortunately, research has not identified one "right" way to foster employee engagement in an organization. What works in one company may not work in another. Some use organization level tactics such as fostering a people culture. Others recognize managers as the key drivers of employee engagement and improve their skills, while still others use employee level strategies such as making sure they have they right employee in the right position.

One thing we know for certain, however. Engagement does not mean driving employees to work harder. It means providing conditions that help them work more effectively.

Seven tips to help you keep employees engaged

Here are seven management tips to help you provide conditions that will help your employees remain engaged:

  1. Communicate What are your company values and vision? How does it define success? Employees will perform best if they know what they're there to do and what part they play in the overall success of the company. Communicate your expectations and do it often.
  2. Have fair, transparent management processes  Manage employee performance consistently providing direction and establishing work expectations and goals. Maintain a clear communication channel with all employees, and include listening to their opinions. Regularly review your processes.
  3. Give employees what they need to do their jobs Begin by simply asking each staff member--or the team as a whole--"Do you have what you need to be as efficient and competent as you can be?" And then remember: needs often change.
  4. Get to know your employees Do you know your employees' goals and stressors, what excites them and how they define success? Show an interest in your employees' well being and, when appropriate, take steps to help them feel more fulfilled.
  5. Give your employees appropriate training Help your employees build their talents into strengths. Hold workshops and overall development programs--in problem solving and conflict resolution techniques, for example--and encourage employee participation.
  6. Challenge your employees Most employees leave jobs because of monotony. Keep them stimulated by introducing them to a variety of jobs within a department AND within their areas of talent and strengths. In addition, challenge your employees to think "out of the box."
  7. Reward and recognize employees Catch your employees doing things right and recognize them in ways meaningful to them. (Here's where getting to know your employees comes into play.) Additionally, reward accomplishments and efforts. Recognizing effort boosts employees working on long-term goals.

Some people inherently give their all and do their best no matter where they work, but most employees require guidance. By following these few tips, you can help give them a sense of purpose and energy for what they do and along with this, build and sustain employee engagement. In addition, the relationship between employer and employee has also radically changed. No longer an exchange of loyalty for security, it has become a multi-faceted give-and-take.

Technical Corner:

Measuring employee engagement levels

Engaging workers should begin with analysis. In other words, with finding out just how engaged your workforce is, how can you motivate your employees and keep them performing at high levels.

Now Profiles International offers a tool that can help you do this reality check in your workplace.

Called the Workforce Analysis Profile, this tool measures workers' attitudes, motivations and beliefs about their employers, current managers and job functions. It collects vital information leaders miss, what one might call the "blind spot." It also reveals issues of concern to employees and shows how important their work is in their lives. And, it uncovers areas of concern that leaders can use as a map for developing a workforce, which not only accepts challenges but also relishes them.

If you pay attention to this Workforce Analysis Profile information, you can enhance and improve the level of employee engagement inside your organization helping your business grow and succeed.

Send me an e-mail or give me a call if you have questions about this new tool?or if you want to build a satisfied and productive workforce.

Sales Tip Of The Month:

Boast at Your Own Risk

Of all the advice your mother gave you remember this:

          Do not brag about yourself. Remain modest, even when you have cause to boast.

As it turns out, your mother knew what she was talking about. Studies by Jeffrey Pfeffer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business show that a third party--a recruiter or an agent--should sing your praises when you are negotiating for a better salary or contract. This is true even if people know the person speaking for you is paid to do so. Self-promotion can hurt you, Pfeffer concludes, both personally and professionally.

MGA can help put people in jobs where the demands match their abilities, the stimulation matches their interest, and they have the greatest opportunity to succeed.

Never forget, you already have a significant investment in your people through salary, benefits, recruitment and training. This investment can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, per person. With MGA you can maximize that investment.

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