E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

May 18, 2011

How to Use Employee Engagement to Boost Your Business

AcampadaSol_dia1 021Curating good, relevant content that matters to you is just such a wonderful thing! Over the last couple of years there have been a good number of really insightful, and very helpful, blog posts that have caught my attention on what, to me, is still one of the most important topics within the corporate environment and perhaps well beyond as well, without not necessarily even being related to social networking alone per se: Employee Engagement. Most of those articles have always been very positive, over the course of time, in identifying how critical and paramount it surely is to help drive new business and to delight your clients to the extreme, but also to increase that sense of belonging, of unmeasurable loyalty, or everlasting generosity of going the extra mile without expecting anything in return, of driving the whole concept of co-creation as part of that co-sharing of responsibility, of feeling good, etc. etc. Some others haven’t. The reality is though that, in my opinion, and thanks to the extensive use of social software tools, amongst several other things, we are now seeing both inside and outside of the firewall, employee engagement *does* exist and, as such, every business, every organisation, needs to start figuring out a way to resurface it, to both embrace it and promote it heavily, if they haven’t done so already, as it walks both ways, i.e. from top down, to bottom up, before they realise, the hard way, and acknowledge, they are employing autobots and not truly passionate, dedicated, engaged, motivated, committed, professional knowledge workers with the determination to make a difference. And here is why.

Take a look into this nearly three and a half minute long video clip under the title of “How to Use Employee Engagement to Boost Your Business” to see what I mean. Don’t worry, it will be worth while your three minutes, for sure; in fact, after watching it I can guarantee you would be wondering why you may not have thought about Employee Engagement in the first place within your organisation a while ago. Yes, it’s that good:

How to use Employee Engagement to boost your business Explania

Pretty compelling, don’t you think? Indeed, I thought so, too, myself! Even coming from someone, like me, who’s totally sold out on the whole concept of employee engagement, even though there may well be some folks out there who wouldn’t agree and state the whole thing is just an oxymoron; employee engagement as portrayed on the video is a reality and if your company doesn’t embrace in such way as described on the video clip, as an example, you may need to re-think about it twice. You may be doing something wrong, perhaps. What do you reckon?

The clip itself starts off detailing what are some of the main challenges that every corporation faces today: Achieve more with less, reduce costs, improve efficiency, etc. along with listing some of the main issues I have always believed are some of the main drawbacks from a lack of engagement by knowledge workers within their organisations and businesses (No, I am not going to spoil those for you, you would have to watch the video! hehe), to the point where it is mentioned how in today’s working environment something that, for decades, was considered the norm, may no longer be the case: satisfaction, i.e. or, better said, being satisfied at work is no longer good enough. So what can both businesses and knowledge workers do to take things into the next level, to walk that extra mile to help align a common set of business objectives and a co-shared, common vision then?

Well, apparently, employee engagement. Of course! And that’s exactly what you would be able to see from there onwards for what’s left of the video itself: a clear definition of what an engaged employee is all about, a description of some of the commonest traits they have AND share across with others and, most importantly, a good description of how they behave to excel at both quality and interacting with your customers building and nurturing those stronger than ever personal business relationships, which, we all know, are the ones that keep driving business revenue time and time again.

Of particular importance and relevance permeating through the last part of the video as well is the good and rather helpful description of engagement drivers: an inspiring organisational culture, and future vision, quality jobs, leadership, offering support, recognition, and opportunities to learn and grow. Probably easier seen than done, but, eventually, at the heart of the matter of how organisations could surely inspire and provoke that employee engagement to take place within the corporate environment and help empower knowledge workers to do their share as part of that both ways equation I mentioned above. That’s the beauty of the challenge ahead for most folks who still think that employee engagement is a myth or a scam, or totally driven by the organisation, top down, ignoring or neglecting the knowledge workers themselves, i.e. bottom up. It’s actually a balance that needs to be achieved between both of them in order to make it happen where everyone would benefit from it.

The advantages though are tremendously beneficial for both parties, as the fine folks over at SocialCast have demonstrated, once again, with another fantastic infographic on the topic of “Engagement Condition – How to Engage Employees in the Workplace” which speaks for itself, specially towards the end of it, looking from the other point of view, perhaps, the most interesting one, of the repercussions of not having an engaged employee workforce; quite revealing, to say the least (Click on the image to enlarge it to its original size):

The interesting thing from Employee Engagement though is that it’s not something new. It’s been there all along. It may have been hidden for a while, but it’s starting to re-surface again. It’s part of us all, human beings, as a society. It’s what the Social Web has managed to unleash and awaken from all of those years. It’s that urge for wanting to connect with other people, to belong to the group, to have that strong sense of ownership and responsibility, to stand out and being recognised for what we do, to strive for social good and social justice, for helping others without asking much in return, for knowing at the end of the day that you have gone the extra mile helping others achieve their own goals as well, like they will do in return with you at a later time. Failing to engage through experiencing and embracing all of that will probably, as an organization, get you in trouble, as we are starting to witness over the last couple of days, over here in Spain with movements like #15mani #15m #nonosvamos #yeswecamp #acampadasol #notenemosmiedo #esunaopcion that have resulted in an unprecedented keen interest on taking a stake in something that most of us considered long time gone and forgotten: regular citizens, like you and me, defining, peacefully, the next generation of politics and open government by utilising, to the fullest, the amplifying effect and extended reach of The Social Web:

(Spanish version of the video clip)

Hello world! Welcome to the 21st century! Are you engaging your knowledge workers yet?

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