Employee Engagement Network Releases “Engagement Top 10’s” E-Book

Do you like your job? According to a study published by The Conference Board in January 2010, only 45% of Americans said they were satisfied with their jobs -- a marked drop from the more than 61% who said they were satisfied in 1987.  Job dissatisfaction does not track economic cycles, the study finds; instead, a consistent, downward trend in satisfaction has been spurred on by workers who do not find their jobs interesting, incomes that do not keep pace with inflation, and the rising cost of healthcare. *

Yet somewhere in the world, people like going to work.

Some of them are the thirty two members of the Employee Engagement Network who contributed favorite nuggets of wisdom to a recently released e-book, “The Top Tens of Employee Engagement” to help others create, improve, and expand positive office cultures.

David Zinger, the Network’s host, defined employee engagement in his entry as “the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results.”

In other words, it’s no easy feat.

While most authors’ entries argued that there is no time like the present to transform a lagging office environment, their suggestions and tips got specific: such efforts will take time, careful attention, measuring and monitoring through surveys and interviews with employees and customers, and loads of communication.

Most entries, too, focused on soft skills: how to talk and listen more effectively. And many contributors noted that individuals are responsible for their own sense of engagement or, as it might also be known, happiness and satisfaction. But they point out that a sense of well being is “bidirectional” – the idea that employees and their employers are all in this together. As David Zinger writes: “employee engagement is more encompassing than motivation. Employee engagement embraces our emotions about work, how hard we work, how much we care about the organization, etc. It is a richer and more complex concept than motivation and includes bidirectional engagement from managers, leaders, and organizational communities.”

We at SJF Advisory Services are very encouraged at the existence of a 2,785-member global Employee Engagement Network and this great compilation. A few of our other favorite nuggets from the Top Tens of Employee Engagement include:

  • Recruit and promote for engagement – make sure those in management are able to engage others for success
  • Ask questions such as “How can I help you right now?” Questions engage the mind more than statements
  • Promote authenticity: employees encouraged to be themselves are more likely to be effective in the workplace
  • CEOs should be “chief engagement officers” and use their role to communicate and engage employees at all levels
  • Be a low tech communicator – teams that talk face to face have a higher rate of engagement
  • Track progress, recognize and celebrate success, learn as you go – what gets measured is more likely to be accomplished, and that is worth celebrating!

Read the full report on the Employee Engagement site.

-Anne Claire Broughton and Christa Wagner *http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2010-01-05-job-satisfaction-use_N.htm