Employee Engagement, meet Change Management
In order for organizations to thrive in today's rapidly paced global economy, it would be very beneficial to explore utilizing a mutually inclusive change management and employee engagement strategy. Increasing employee engagement levels is currently a high priority for organizations across the board, regardless of industry. Research has indicated that employee engagement is one of the best predictors of an employee's performance. Each employee is different as to what engages them. Employee engagement levels can fluctuate daily depending on different variables. Identifying and fostering what engages employees then becomes ownership of the organization's managers, executives, and key leaders—if done successfully, ultimately giving your organization a competitive advantage.
Having increased levels of employee engagement is just one piece to the puzzle. Organizations also have to stay agile in order to keep up in this rapidly paced global economy. Therefore, organizations have to identify ways to remain agile while also focusing on increasing employee engagement efforts to reap ROI. I believe the goal of any organization undergoing a change effort is to improve some business component within the organization to ultimately have a positive effect on overall efficiencies. If employees are generally disengaged and there is no strategy other than an engagement survey to understand the root cause, I am pretty certain that rolling out any upcoming change initiative will be a long uphill battle.
When organizations realize the notion of employee engagement should be ingrained in everyday conversations and not just a check off of the “to do list”, they will see the results of higher engaged employees. Engaging employees should be ingrained in talent development, succession planning, and performance evaluation conversations between managers and employees. A big part of engaging employees is for organizations to understand what is important to them, what motivates them, and ultimately how to develop and keep key talent in-house and not build leaders for your competitors. When employees are fully engaged and “aware” of what part they play in the overall strategy, rolling out a change initiative should be smoother because they understand how this change and how their role tie into the bigger picture.
At the end of the day, it all goes back to communications. What is the conversation around being agile and consistently engaging employees? I strongly suggest leaders taking a deeper look at your organization’s goals, departmental goals, team goals, and lastly individual goals to see if they all align. If not, an exploratory conversation is warranted. Just remember to incorporate what’s important, motivates, and developmental areas you are interested in which will be mutually beneficial to both you and your organization.
Wishing you the best on your continuous engagement journey!
April Scott Read, Psy.D. is a Business Psychologist specializing in change management. She is a recent graduate of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a background in clinical and business psychology. Her expertise includes a hands-on strategy to understand employee psychological processes with alignment to organizational change