Building Employee Engagement in South Africa

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 Based on the blog article Harnessing the Strengths of the Game Sep 18, 2018 by Alia Stowers in Annual Gathering of Games

"Engagement" has become a huge buzzword in our society, so much so that some CEOs and managers don't even want to talk about it! With Gallup reporting that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged in the workplace, this topic isn't going away.

So why should you care more about engaged employees in the workplace?

The reasons why business owners would want to pursue higher levels of employee engagement include:

  • Engaged employees care about their customers and fellow employees.
  • Companies with an engaged workforce deliver consistently more at lower costs and they significantly outperform those with a disengaged workforce.
  • Employees embrace the need for change and work towards the achievement of common and aligned KPI's.
  • The company attracts A-players and more A-players increase results.
  • Employees stop caring when nobody pays attention.

So how do we engage employees?

According toAlia Stowers "Organizational goals and metrics tied to organization incentives (like bonus plans) push a 'we're all in this together' mindset."

She goes further by saying that "things like financial understanding and open books in your team meetings, if used well, increase both the opportunity and the competency of individual contributors to promote engagement in the values and priorities of the business. It creates a sense of transparency that allows all workers to be connected to the success of a business by their contribution."

While several business owners and leaders may find the principle of employee engagement empowering, it's still a huge task to inspire and enroll individual employees. This is even more true in a country like ours where cultural differences and past practices has seen a huge divide between labour and business.

I believe that this is where using behavioral assessments like DISC can help inspire employees to make an engaged difference.

There is Hope

Although the 87% disengagement level worldwide is daunting, listed companies with highly engaged work forces outperform their peers by 147% (in earnings per share).

Building a mutually-beneficial, diverse and strengths-based employee culture allows us to draw out the best talents and strengths of our employees so we know exactly where to motivate and challenge, and when to move team members around for the greatest possible impact.

For example, a high D (Dominance) team member will grab on to results discussions and future-driven planning but may not seem as engaged in discussions around the details of how it will get done. A high C (Conscientious) team member may focus only on the risks, and when leadership mitigates those risks in that team member's mind, they will then be fully engaged (and may become the greatest advocate).

High S (Steadiness) team members need to know the stories about the past and rely on the predictability of what has worked to be compelled forward and high I (Influence) team members will enjoy brainstorming, innovating and keeping things exciting and fun.

You need to employ the best team possible and when they work for you deploy them in such a manner that the team will maximize impact and business results.

Knowing your team's talents, DISC profiles and individual motivators will highlight individual and organizational biases (strengths and challenges) and give leaders direction to drive the team forward leaving no one behind and engaging the best talents and tendencies of each person.

Connect with me if you want to discuss how your team is doing and any challenges that you may face. Remember, great teamwork starts with Strong Leadership, your leadership!

Coach Bert

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020