Employee engagement is a vital component of successful organizations. Nothing helps spur innovation and raise productivity like a highly engaged group of people who are passionately involved in what they are doing.
“Because they [employees] care more, they are more productive, give better service, and even stay in their jobs longer,” writes Kevin Kruse, author of Employee Engagement 2.0. “All of that leads to happier customers, who buy more and refer more often, which drives sales and profits higher, finally resulting in an increase in stock price.”
Kruse sites 28 research studies showing a correlation between employee engagement and sales, service, quality, safety, retention and total shareholder return.
Employee engagement is about a person’s emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. Raising this emotional commitment cannot be done through some generic training course or corporate mandate.
Instead, the organization must appeal to the employees’ needs and meet these needs with specific leadership skill development.
Every employee has basic human needs that must be met in order for them to feel passionate about the work they do. When this need is met with specific leadership skills, the organization will benefit from more engaged employees.
Theidentifies five human needs that help ignite passion and the accompanying leadership skills required to create conditions to satisfy each need. It also describes the outcome or payoff to the organization for satisfying each need.
These human needs are:
- Be respected
- Learn and grow
- Be an “insider”
- Do meaningful work
- Be on a winning team
As I described in an earlier post, what employees say they want can vary a great deal from what managers think employees want. Many of these same human needs for increasing employee engagement were among the top ten things employees say they want. Specifically:
- Full appreciation for work done (Be respected)
- Feeling “part” of things (Be an “insider”)
- Interesting work (Do meaningful work)
- Promotion/growth opportunities (Learn and grow)
Tying these human needs with specific leadership skill development can then help ignite the passion necessary to raise engagement. With intentional and orderly intervention, these leadership skills can meet the employees’ needs.
The leadership skills are also in a specific order as no team can be effective without building upon a foundation of trust. Coaching, counseling and mentoring can help with each individual’s specific growth opportunities and blind spots. And no organization can expect employees to be engaged without inclusiveness.
Aligning teams with the organization’s purpose, values and vision ties intrinsic motivation with extrinsic rewards. Finally, building a high performance team requires the foundation of all the preceding skills as well as a shared purpose and bond to succeed together.
These leadership skills help meet employees’ needs, which can help ignite the passion necessary to raise employee engagement in your organization. Isn’t it worth the investment to bring out the best in your employees so they can bring out the best in your organization?