Employee Engagement is often impacted by what happens outside of the office as much as what happens at work.
Unfortunately most employee engagement models are centred around what happens at work and not on a holistic view of employees as human beings with context (home, relationships, money and families). Organisations spend millions each year on these programmes, but employee engagement is at record lows according to Gallup (less than 15% Engaged).
What this means is that many organisations are running ineffective programmes or perhaps spending their money in the wrong places. Too often the models and surveys don’t work or make very little progress. The core problem is only trying to understand and impact what happens at work, ignoring the most basic truth that employees bring their whole selves to work. What happens before their work hours may be just as important as what happens during it. What happens when we leave the office can have a huge impact on our behaviour the following day.
Having a sick child at home, marital issues, money problems or a death in the family directly impact our ability to Engage at work. Similarly when we are feeling depressed or anonymous our input and impact are vastly different to when we are feeling happy or understood.
Taking a holistic view Employee Engagement means looking at the Whole Self not just the Work Self. Areas to consider:
- Relationships: Which people and relationships most influence you inside and outside of work?
- Value alignment: What values do you or your organisation hold that drive and shape your decisions and actions?
- Passions: What are you passionate about? Are you able to follow your passion at work? Where do you expend your energy when you are not at work?
- Health:How do you relax and recharge at work and at home? How do you manage stress at home and at work?
Start asking different questions
Take a careful look at what you’re asking your employees, and the message it sends. A work only focus may send the message that they are a cog in the wheel and they don’t matter as people except for how they impact the bottom line. The idea is not to pry into their personal lives but to understand their personal context. If all of your Employee Engagement approaches are focused on work start at expanding your questions to gain an understanding of employees’ context outside of work too. Consider broader influences like internal values (aligning them with organisational values), family needs (helping them create better work life balance), commuting time and methods (consider flexitime or remote work), and personal interests (their passions often hold hidden skills and strengths).
Taking a holistic view to your programme helps increase Employee Engagement
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