4 Questions to Improve Employee Engagement

A giant question mark pinned to the wall prompting questions about employee engagement

Want to improve employee engagement? You’ll have to find out what your employees care most about that directly correlates to the three top employee engagement anchors:

  1. Discretionary effort
  2. Intent to stay
  3. Company advocacy

This is why you should bother—engaged employees work harder, are more productive and stay longer. Their degree of engagement has a direct impact on your bottom line. How about $550 Billion worth of productivity loss in a year? That’s what the recent Gallup study reported. And that doesn’t even include the cost of replacing those workers who leave.

Now that we hopefully have your attention, there are two questioning methods you can use to determine if your employees represent the 70% of workers from the same study who are unhappy with their work or the 30% who are engaged at their workplace: an employee engagement survey or a less formal, ongoing dialogue. Your goal is to figure out what makes employees excited about coming to work, what keeps them from achieving their work goals, and how they see themselves growing in the company. You want to tap into their reactions on both a functional and a social/emotional level.

Employee Engagement Survey
There are easily distributed Employee Engagement Surveys that are designed to gather information anonymously on how employees feel about the company, its leaders and their work. As long as you have employee trust and are committed to making changes as a result of what you learn from the survey, you should get their open and honest ideas for improvement…as well as what bugs them and keeps them from doing their best.  Pull together the responses, reflect on what changes should or could be made, and adjust your culture to suit their needs.

Ongoing Dialogue

This method of questioning is simpler and cheaper to implement, but it may take a while for employees to trust the process. They need to know there will be no repercussions for negative input. Otherwise the answers to your questions will provide little direction on what needs to be changed.

Regardless of the method you choose, here are 4 questions that will help you uncover the policies, rules, and behaviors that either block or enable employees to contribute their best work.

  1. How readily available are the resources and information you need to do your job?
    When vital information is kept in silos, projects break down. Employees need to know where they can turn for support, critical data, and a clear definition of both failure and success.
  2. When did you last feel proud of your work?
    The answer may reveal why an employee is not contributing as much as when they felt the pride of achievement and encourages the worker to own their own performance. Here is where you can gently probe to learn what may be holding them back.
  3. When did you last feel valued by the organization?
    This question speaks to a critical employee engagement motivator—recognition for a job well done. You will get a sense of whether or not you are acknowledging workers often enough for their superior work or discretionary effort.
  4. Where do you rate your performance vis-à-vis your peers?
    This question is designed to identify strengths in members of the team so they can build those strengths in others. The goal is to create a collaborative environment where the team works together toward the highest possible performance.

To learn more, download our Employee Engagement and Retention Toolkit

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LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

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LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

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For past year LSA has provided development to a group of key individuals at our manufacturing plant who author and review technical reports. The feedback from the sessions has been extremely positive. We have seen marked improvement in the quality of output from the attendees who have taken the program. I can strongly recommend the services that LSA provides. Their facilitators are top notch and the programs are high quality. LSA offers some of the most comprehensive full service solutions available.

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Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

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LSA has added tremendous value and intellectual rigor to help take us to the next level. They have been a training outsourcing goldmine for us. Their flexibility, expertise, and speed has been extraordinary. I am a big fan and recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business value.

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LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

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I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

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