Welcome to another blog about improving employee engagement! Why are we devoting so much time to this topic? Well, researchers Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall have identified eight aspects of engagement, all of which are disproportionately present in highly successful companies. In today’s tricky business environment—or, really, at any time—organizations that are intentional about making employees feel valued, supported, and engaged at work are on track to grow and prosper.
In their book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World, Buckingham and Goodall distinguish between “Me” and “We” engagement influences. In this post, we’ll talk about four “Me” factors that drive employee engagement at an individual level (we explored four “We” factors that contribute to high-performing groups and teams in this post).
Let’s dig in.
4 questions to gauge engagement
Studies show that employees who feel engaged on an individual basis at work agree with the following four statements:
- At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
- I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.
- I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
- In my work, I am always challenged to grow.
If you have no idea how your employees would respond to these statements because you’ve never asked, you’re not alone. You can find out by leveraging every conversation—from a casual chat in the storage room to a regularly scheduled one-to-one—as a springboard for coaching. By asking questions, actively listening, and inviting feedback, you can connect with, learn about, and celebrate your people. When you do, employees feel proud to work for a leader, and a company, they respect.
Change the game with coaching conversations
Here are the kinds of questions you might ask or observations you might share, either during an informal exchange or at a formal feedback session:
- What were your top accomplishments in the last two weeks?
- What are you most excited about working on right now?
- I noticed you spend a lot of time researching the new project, which makes me think you enjoyed doing it. How did you feel about it?
- I noticed how many great questions you asked when the project began. How did you feel about the work you were doing?
- I’m curious what your next steps will be?
There’s so much goodness that comes from a coaching conversation like this. As a manager or supervisor, you get to connect with your employees by recognizing the work they’re proud of; you can support their development because you understand their strengths and interests; and you can guide them as necessary as they prepare for upcoming challenges.
For employees, having such a positive, authentic interaction shows that company leaders notice and appreciate their hard work, care about their job satisfaction and professional development, and are invested in helping them succeed at work.
All this from a seemingly simple conversation? You bet. Because a thoughtful, intentional coaching exchange is a powerful tool for bolstering engagement and, by extension, boosting morale, productivity, and retention across your company. More good news? Leaders at every level can learn the skills to connect with, support, and inspire employees so your business can flourish.
To ensure your managers and supervisors have the leadership skills they need to engage employees, secure your spot in the next cohort of our Ignite to Transform program. Watch this video and book a free informational call to find out more.