4 Steps to Guarantee Employee Engagement
“[Engaged Employees] work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the company forward.” – Gallup
It’s Wednesday, a day before you leave for a family vacation. But lucky for you, you don’t need to come in today. The team completed the project a day early and told you to start your vacation early.
Looking out your window, a warm feeling of peace overtakes your body. You can’t distinguish if it’s because your team is engaged and finally performing at its highest level or because the sun finally came out of hibernation. Regardless, this peace allows you to focus on the amazing vacation you’re about to have with your family and know that:
- The company will be in good hands
- Issues will be addressed
- The organization will not skip a beat
Because your team is engaged.
You can listen to our most recent podcast that covers this issue in-depth:
Is this your reality?
Does the story above resonate with you? The answer for many organizations I’ve worked with is no. To solidify this, I read a recent Gallup Study that determined 53% of all employees are disengaged.
If you’re not challenged with this issue, you’re doing something right. But if you are struggling to engage all your employees, don’t worry. After you finish reading this blog, you will understand and have the tools to implement the four steps to guarantee employee engagement.
4 Steps to better engage and retain your direct reports
Today I’m going to provide you four simple steps to guarantee employee engagement and retention which will lead to improved company performance. Building an organization where all members are engaged, passionate and motivated is revealed in these four steps.
Step One: Understand what drives and motivates you
“Before we can lead others, we must first lead self.” – Steve Van Remortel
I accomplished this step by taking a driving forces assessment 20 years ago. This clearly communicated my (primary) top four driving forces, (situational) middle four driving forces and (indifferent) bottom 4 driving forces. It gave me a complete picture as to what driving forces motivate me and the level of passion in each driving force.
One of my primary driving forces is the intentional driving force which is my motivation to help others but for a specific intention. My intention, or reason, in helping others is to help leaders accomplish their professional and personal goals.
Defining and understanding how you are motivated is the first step in motivating your direct reports. Use either of the two tools below to uncover and understand what drives and motivates you:
Step Two: Ensure your driving forces are being fed
Once you understand your two to four primary driving forces, now is the time to make sure you’re feeding those forces. Like on an airplane during an emergency, you must first place your oxygen mask on before helping others. Ensure that your forces are fed before feeding others.
To learn more about “feeding the force”, you can download our Driving Forces Slide deck here.
Take action to feed your driving forces which in result will keep you motivated, engaged and will create a deeper connection with your team and organization. Without this step, motivating and engaging others will be difficult.
Now that we are fed and motivated, it’s time to feed those you are responsible for.
Step Three: Understand the driving forces of your direct reports
One of the most common mistakes made by organizations is that they try to motivate everyone the same. There may be a belief that everyone is motivated by money, but that is not true. The resourceful driving force, someone who is motivated by financial security, is ranked sixth out of the twelve driving forces based on the national means.
The intellectual driving force, or the motivation to learn, is the highest national mean out of all twelve driving forces. You feed this force by providing opportunities for lifelong learning, always having a development plan, conferences, books, training, research.
When you only feed one driving force, you starve a majority of your team. This results in high levels of turnover because when someone’s driving forces aren’t being fed, they will leave.
But before you can feed your direct report’s driving forces, you must first understand and identify what motivates them. As mentioned above, you can use either a driving forces assessment or the driving forces identifier. We suggest using the assessment to speed up the process and ensure the highest level of accuracy.
As you identify the driving forces of your direct reports using the assessment, the statement above will become more evident; not all employees are motivated the same way. Some of your employees will be driven by learning while others are driven by their surroundings or getting ahead in the world.
Now that you know “WHY” your employees come to work, the driving forces that motivate them, you can feed them leading to engagement and retention.
Step Three: Feed your team’s driving forces
Now that you’ve identified what motivates your team, you’re ready to put action plans in place to feed those driving forces. Let’s use an example to show this in action. One of your direct reports is motivated by the Commanding driving force. This is an individual who is motivated to get ahead in the world, to win and to succeed.
So how do you feed this force?
Ask this person what success looks like for them. Have them define what winning in life means. And then show them the road to get there. Build a career path for them that leads to the success they want in life and this will motivate and retain them.
One thing to note: Driving forces CAN change over time. But in most cases, they will change gradually throughout your life. Unless a significant change or event happens, driving forces will not change abruptly.
That is why we suggest reevaluating your driving forces every three years or after a significant life event. This will ensure that you are still engaging and feeding the correct driving forces of your team.
Follow these 4 Steps to Engage and Retain Your Talent
I get called into organizations all the time that have high turnover and the reoccurring theme that I see is that they are trying to motivate all their employees the same way. They do not take the time to understand each person’s individual motivators and fail to retain their talent.
I can guarantee that if you take the time to understand and motivate each direct report by what drives them, you will engage and retain your talent and build a high-performance team.
“Retain your talent and build a high-performance team by feeding the force.”
For more tips on how to guarantee employee engagement, listen to our podcast that covers these 4 steps and more:
Thank you for reading this week’s blog. If you have any questions about taking a driving forces assessment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to sign up below for Stop The Vanilla’s Strategy & Talent Newsletter to stay up to date on all of our content here at Stop The Vanilla.