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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Download our engagement whitepaper: Are You Aimlessly Engaging Employees?

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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

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

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

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

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

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.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

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 value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

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

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