Key Drivers and the guide’s 4 techniques of Employee Engagement
This is the third in a five part series interview with Graeme Ginsberg from London. Graeme is the Managing Editor, Research and Reports for Melcrum – the international research and training company focused on internal communication. I requested the interview go get a better understanding of Melcrum’s research and their current publication: The Practitioner’s Guide, Essential Techniques for Employee Engagement.
What conclusions do you have about the key drivers of employee engagement?
Senior leadership and direct supervisors are still by far the most important drivers – nothing has really changed there since our engagement survey in 2005. Around 25% of respondents in organizations that conduct a driver analysis said senior leadership is the most important driver and around 25% said direct supervisors. This probably isn’t too much of a surprise since these are the people that employees look to for understanding what the organization’s values are and where it’s heading, and these are the people who shape the environment the employees work in and their day-to-day work. If leaders and managers are giving the ‘wrong’ messages, employees feel insecure, confused, cynical, demotivated – in short, disengaged. The next most highly rated drivers in our survey were “compensation and benefits”, “opportunities for career advancement” and “people-centric culture” – each rated as most important by around 9% of respondents. I mention this to people and they say, “Well the first two are hardly surprising, everyone wants more money in the bank and a bigger desk to work on”, but I don’t think it’s only about that at all. There are really emotional elements underpinning these – salary, skills and job title have a major impact on self-esteem, confidence, security, trust, and so on. If organizations are keen to engage their employees, they need to look more deeply at the drivers – not just which drivers are important, but also why they’re important.The Guide focuses on four key techniques: action teams, appreciative inquiry, message maps, and storytelling. Would you briefly outline each one. Sure. Very broadly speaking:Employee action teams are created to work with leaders to identify engagement goals and develop strategies to achieve them.Appreciative inquiry brings employees at all levels together in a collaborative process to discover what are the factors that have made the organization or an initiative succeed, then envision ideals built on these factors and design how these ideals can be turned into a reality.
Message maps are a way of capturing the core messages simply and efficiently. The focus in the messaging process is on achieving the deepest understanding of the topic, who the key audience are and what that audience’s needs are.
Storytelling is the gathering, distilling and communicating of essential information about the organization through a narrative or narrative elements. This brings a ‘human’ quality to the facts and data so employees can really relate to it.
Part 4 (next post): Message maps and the rationale for the specific 4 techniques.