Employee Engagement: Is It Actually Possible?

A cartoon man is chasing a moving target

Does it sometimes seem as if your goal of employee engagement is a moving target and, therefore, unreachable?

From our experience working for nearly twenty years with clients who recognize the importance of employee engagement, we like to encourage them to think in terms of meaningful and continuous improvement.

100% employee engagement may not be possible, but the more you increase your employee engagement ratings, the better your future business outlook. Our studies show that engaged workers are over 40% more productive and more effective than their unengaged or hostile counterparts. That should be well worth your efforts to increase employee engagement…it can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

So the question becomes, how can you go about increasing your employees’ loyalty to the company and intention to stay, their commitment to high performance, and their willingness to exert discretionary effort?

  • The role of trust
    What we know for sure is that trust plays a significant role in levels of employee engagement. Workers who “love the people” they work with value the relationships they have built on their team. And this “love” spills over to a loyalty to their company. But the kind of trust that is fundamental to high employee engagement goes beyond trusting team members. Employees also need to trust their senior leaders. Do they believe the company leadership to be competent and ethical? Does the culture modelled at the highest positional levels promote the kind of trust needed for open communication? Do they believe that senior leaders are setting the right course?Employees want to see that their ideas are welcomed and valued and even their criticisms are thoughtfully received and acted upon. This requires that leaders themselves acknowledge mistakes and honestly share business plans and financial results so there are no unwelcome surprises. When you hide bad news, you undermine employee faith and confidence in the organization.
  • The role of sharing
    Beyond sharing ongoing news of the business, leaders, to encourage higher employee engagement, should share rewards when times are good and targets are met. This helps employees see a direct connection between their performance and business results. And that direct connection increases their feeling of responsibility to their own success and the success of the company. By the same token, when times are bad, all must share in the pain…executives as well as employees. The incredibly and disproportionately high salaries of some executives can weaken the trust and loyalty of employees very quickly.
  • The role of training and development
    Certainly opportunities for learning and development and the power to co-create one’s own career path do a great deal to enhance employee engagement. But don’t overlook opportunities for employees to grow their skills and expertise across different functions. The more experience they have working with others, the more they are likely to build their soft skills…and those are the skills that will help them advance in any arena.

If you are serious about an ongoing improvement in employee engagement, be sure you focus on your corporate culture. See that it is built on a strong foundation of trust, open sharing, and multiple development paths. Your employees will pay you back generously with their loyalty, their hard work, and their enthusiasm for the company.

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I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

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

Fujitsu

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from “training” organizations. LSA gives you the assistance you need to define and reach your goal, and then they give you a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

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