While speaking recently to a manufacturer about employee engagement, I referenced a great measurement tool we use at ProCulture. Understanding employee engagement is critical for success and it's more than just asking, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how engaged are you?” Employers must dig a little deeper and uncover why an employee marks their engagement a ten.
That’s what PCC’s culture survey attempts to discover – what drives engagement? The assessment looks at seven beliefs and seven behaviors:
Direction & Purpose Adaptability
Supervisor Support Communication
Learning & Growth Trust
Recognition & Rewards Serving
Customer Orientation Talent
If an employee feels they have good support from their supervisor, they will mark the survey with a high number. If they believe the organization offers learning opportunities and does a good job of recognizing employees, again, high marks.
The same goes for behaviors. Does the organization communicate well? Does the organization build an environment of trust and hire/promote the best talent? More nines and tens.
So I was a little shocked to hear the person across the table from me say leadership doesn’t matter to most of their employees. She said this survey tool, while appropriate for a corporate audience, was not a good fit for their heavy manufacturing environment. The overwhelming majority of this manufacturer’s employees are hourly workers who do heavy, dirty, hard work so she thought over half of PCC’s survey attributes did not apply to their workforce.
So my question is, which attributes don’t matter? Do hourly workers in a manufacturing plant not care about the talent or teammate working beside them? Will they work for a supervisor who is not trustworthy or does not recognize them for their hard work? Or maybe these manufacturing workers don’t want to learn how to operate the newest manufacturing machinery and being able to adapt to changing economic and competitive pressures doesn’t make sense to them.
Of course, I don’t believe any of the above. In fact, I’m confident that regardless of the level in an organization, from the top executives to the lowest levels on the org chart, all employees value good support and communication. Whether employees have been with an organization for 30 years or they are the newest new hire, understanding the direction and purpose of the organization will help them fully engage in their daily activities.
Employee engagement is a hot topic these days but it’s not limited to certain industries or certain job titles. As the economy picks up and job openings increase, organizations that do not take corporate culture and employee engagement seriously will find it necessary to install a new revolving door in their lobby – for current employees leaving in search of greener pastures and for the new workers required to take their place.
Is employee engagement important to your organization? How do you measure it and what strategies and activities are you using to develop an engaging culture and engaged employees?
Darren K. Ford
I've enjoyed a great career. Worked in many different industries with great coworkers and customers. I talk to a lot of people while drinking a lot of coffee. I read constantly. From all of this, I have much to say.