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employee engagement metrics

Your Actions are the Metrics of Engagement

Written by: Monica Steffeck, Chief Talent Enrichment Officer

What is employee engagement, really? Many companies work hard to measure it. Few successfully impact it in a sustainable way.

I arrived at our parent company, Clickstop, five years ago asking myself, “how do we make this place the best workplace no matter how fast we grow?”  I knew we had multiple brands and they were growing at a quick pace. I didn’t know we’d be one of the only companies in the state to land fastest-growing after fastest-growing awards for our first 10 years.  Or that we’d acquire and start up new brands or just how quickly our largest e-commerce site would grow.

I had spent time studying, understanding and applying practices of engagement and was learning about the difference between perks (like ping pong at work), satisfaction, and engagement. I was experimenting and exploring engagement and learning first-hand what engagement looked like in action. Something I continue to do today.

But, I had no idea we’d launch a successful manufacturing operation or that marketing and talent services would one day be born into Leverage. Some of these things were ideas but all seemed far-off.  After all, we were a little company with a young spirit in the tiny town of Urbana, IA. We had enthusiasm and energy, but what else?

Make Engagement Personal

One of the best and most effective parts of our journey in driving engagement as a Talent Enrichment team has been our walk (or run, if you will) alongside managers as they grow our business. We’ve taken time to be personally connected to front line employees, managers, and senior leaders and created, re-recreated and reinvented our engagement strategy.  And we’re humbled that our team at Clickstop has ranked us as the #1 workplace in Iowa and for having the most supportive managers in the state.

After multiple years of rigorous research-test-application-adjustment we’ve learned that neither metrics nor fun fuel engagement.  Data and systems, while helpful in many ways, will never replace the need for human connection and commitment to relationships. In the same way, ping pong, parties and great pay will never win a person’s heart and commitment. Engagement is produced as a result of a personal commitment and their aligned action with the organization. It can’t be bought or forced, it’s a choice.

Utilizing data, surveys, tools or incorporating fun into your workplace are worthwhile and things we do, however, they shouldn’t be mistaken for engagement or considered as adequate in engaging your team.

Engagement in Action

As a talent enrichment team, we affect engagement by keeping a close pulse on the organization through personal interactions, data analysis and action with accountability. Here are a few things we do on a regular basis to help support high levels of commitment and aligned action across our company:

  • Talent Enrichment partners attend team meetings and provide tools and communication to help teams improve how they work together.

  • We gather regular information about the highest impact factors of engagement through pulse surveys and work with teams to make changes and apply findings in a tight timeframe.

  • We seek out the most important information across the organization and ensure it’s made interesting and relevant and place it in the proper locations around our campus or online.

  • We facilitate learning and action-planning based on the state of the team.

  • We study the flow of information from audience to audience and work to improve both the information being shared and the way information is sent and received.

  • We create a shared understanding of core expectations within the organization.

  • We craft recognition programs to showcase to the organization what greatness (commitment and aligned action) looks like in the framework of our values.

What Makes Us Different?

We’re on a journey that doesn’t include an arrival.  We’re in pursuit of a destination (commitment and aligned action, a.k.a. engagement) that requires constant personal attention. The best part of the whole journey of building, sustaining and innovating a great culture is the impact it has on individual’s lives. Their trajectory, their future, how they see themselves, what they’re capable of and their ability to achieve and how they carry themselves personally are all affected positively through the journey.

At the end of the day, we’re a company full of people committed to driving great workplace culture through personal connections. We are doers committed to making the place we work the best it can be, no matter how fast we grow.

Ready to grow, too? Make us your personal engagement partner.

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