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6 Building Blocks of Employee Success

engagement Dec 19, 2019

I stepped into a Human Resources role at EnergyCAP, Inc. (ECI) in 2016. Since then, I’ve been interested in the subject of employee engagement. I’d read the statistics from Gallup that said only 33% of the American workforce was engaged, which meant 67% were in some way disengaged.

I wondered how our workplace would stack up to the rest of the country, so as a company we took Gallup’s Q12 engagement survey. The Q12 survey contains 12 questions, which Gallup has perfected over the years to best measure engagement.

Engaged employees feel emotionally connected to their workplace, are excited to be there, and have a sense of purpose in their work. As a result of our survey, we found that 38% of our employees were fully engaged. While that was better than the national average, we knew we could do better—62% employees weren’t fully engaged.

Increasing employee engagement is good for everyone. According to Harvard Business Review, Gallup, and Glassdoor, the benefits of engagement are staggering, such as increases in productivity, revenue, meeting goals, quality of work, quality of life, positive interactions with coworkers, treating customers better, and creative and innovative moments, and decreases in turnover and absenteeism.

For all these reasons, we wanted to improve engagement at ECI. Considering the drivers of engagement as identified by Gallup, we created the ROSTER (TM) Employee Success Program, and began rolling it out companywide in January 2017. When we retook the survey nine months later, our engagement score had increased by 26%, bringing it 15 points above the national average.

Here's how our employee success program works. It has six parts:

Roles

Only 60% of American workers strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work. Since clear expectations are critical for employees, we established a unique role and outcomes statement for each position. Everyone from the CEO to the newest employee can access each other’s role and outcomes statements. The role is the big picture statement that captures each person’s purpose at ECI.

Outcomes

Outcomes are what managers expect employees to produce through their job role. Outcomes define what they’re supposed to deliver. In order to produce their outcomes, employees decide which activities will get them there and measure progress through meaningful metrics. Establishing roles and outcomes for every employee has yielded great benefits: sets clear expectations, makes evaluation easier, strengthens employee purpose, simplifies feedback conversations, streamlines development toward mastery, drives autonomy to deliver outcomes, and empowers delegation.

Strengths

Strengths are one’s means for making inspired contributions to the world. ECI is a strengths-based workplace, which means we help employees discover their strengths so they can grow in them and utilize them for their expected outcomes. According to Gallup, employees who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their job and are three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life. Strengths include: talents, personality traits, skills, knowledge, wisdom, experiences, and relationships.

Tools

In order to support employees, we’ve encouraged employees to make use of various engagement tools. For example, our ROSTER intranet site provides profile pages about employees and their teams, which include their role and outcomes, information about strengths, and educational resources. Managers meet with their employees for regular coaching check-ins about near-term work. As a certified professional coach, I'm available to support employees. Company trainings and blog posts help to reinforce the ROSTER program. Employees can meet with the CEO for lunch on a monthly basis. Wellness initiatives like fitness boot camp, counseling stipends, and fully-paid medical insurance also support employees.

Engagement

According to Gallup, engaged employees feel emotionally connected to their workplace, are excited to be there, and have a sense of purpose in their work. On the other hand, disengaged employees “may be productive but are not psychologically connected.” They show up and get the work done, but they don’t get meaning or fulfillment from the work they do. Actively disengaged employees are “unhappy with the work situation and insist on sharing their unhappiness with others.” At ECI, we understand that all of our employees fall somewhere on the spectrum. We believe it’s up to all of us, from vice presidents to managers to generalists, to be moving toward greater engagement.

Recognition

The sixth component of ROSTER is employee recognition. Studies published in Harvard Business Review show that employee recognition is closely tied to job satisfaction, boss-employee bond, employee morale, and company loyalty. We’re introducing several recognition practices such as companywide recognition by managers for individual employee achievement, a shout-out webpage, weekly check-ins with managers, and a formal performance recognition and promotion system.

As you can see, ECI is strongly committed to creating a highly engaged workplace filled with employees who each have a sense of purpose, use their strengths every day to achieve their expected outcomes, and are growing in meaningful ways under the direction of their coaching managers. The ROSTER Employee Success Program is helping us do that.

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