good manager

Employee Engagement 101

For ambitious managers, only! 🏆 | 🚴‍♀️💨 🚴💨

If you’re serious about being a great manager, you’ve definitely heard of “employee engagement”.
Maybe you read about it on HBR or Forbes, maybe it was part of an internal memo or a leadership training.

You kind of know what it means, but not really. You know it when you see it.

Let’s go beyond the “knowing when seeing” into the knowing and doing!

What is engagement and how do you measure it? What does my team’s engagement look like? Why is it important? Does it really matter? How does it work? And hopefully, by the end of this post, how do I get started? 😉

📐 What does engagement measure?

Employee engagement measures the extent to which employees are willing to go the extra mile for your company’s success.

To get a good sense of what that looks like, take this scale:

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😐 Around 5 is what you expect of an employee (most people are here)

😕 Anything below and people hold your team back.

😃 Anything above and people will go the extra mile for your team.

Why is it important?

🏆 | 🚴‍♀️💨 🚴💨

Think of it as the ultimate motivation, productivity, happiness, performance, commitment and loyalty measurement.

If you have a team of highly engaged people, you can expect to get twice as much out of them as you normally would.

Some of the popular metrics you can find about engagement.

Some of the popular metrics you can find about engagement.

How does engagement work? 🎛

2 key things to know about how engagement works.

  1. It’s a personal experience (you can’t look at it at a team level)

  2. It’s an iterative process (it’s something you perfect over time)

This is why it’s hard to develop and only 21% of employees are engaged.

You can’t drive engagement for other people, but you can help them find what is important for them and how to make it work.

It’s also why you will always find two employees with completely different levels of engagement in the same team.

Example of team members’ rating of their manager’s support.

Example of team members’ rating of their manager’s support.

Example of team members’ rating of their manager’s support.

What makes team members engaged?

There are 8 factors that contribute to making an individual engaged.
If an employee can rate each of these factors a 9 or 10 then congratulations you have an engaged employee!

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Let’s summarize:

  1. Employee engagement measures the extent to which employees are willing to go the extra mile for your company’s success.

  2. It’s important because high engagement means high performance.

  3. It’s a personal experience because every one has different expectations.

  4. It’s an iterative process because people and their environment constantly change.

  5. There are 8 factors that make a person engaged or disengaged.

Examples

High performance engineering team

Here is the example of the engagement graph of a team of highly qualified engineers (median salary $210,000 / year).

The team lost -17% in productivity in its first 2 weeks.

Light green  is week 0 |  Dark green  is week 2 |  Blue  line is ok,  Orange  is good,  Red  is great

Light green is week 0 | Dark green is week 2 | Blue line is ok, Orange is good, Red is great

Startup Leadership Team

Here is the example of the engagement graph of a startup team who recently got a big round of fundraising (median salary $80,000 / year).

The team lost 31% in productivity in the space of 3 months as they started quickly scaling the team.

Light green  is week 0 |  Dark green  is week 12|  Blue  line is ok,  Orange  is good,  Red  is great

Light green is week 0 | Dark green is week 12| Blue line is ok, Orange is good, Red is great

How do I start working on my team’s engagement?

1/ Understand where your team stands 🔍

Get to know your team’s expectations. What is driving engagement and what is negatively impacting their engagement levels?

We have a really simple test to get you started here:

Team Productivity Test
Everyone's personal executive coach, sidekick-hq.com/productivity/

2/ Start open conversations 🗣👂

Once you get an idea of your team’s expectations, schedule individual sessions and start exploring them.

“I noticed that our team’s average learning metrics is 6 which is “ok”. Talk to me about some of your latest learning experiences.”

“How do you think we could make sure you can experience this as often as possible? How do we get you to rank “everyday learning” a 9 or 10?”

3/ Build an action plan ✍️

Once you’ve identified a theme the individual can work on, make sure you set up an exact action plan that is achievable in the next 2 weeks.

Make sure the individual owns the action plan however.
You can’t drive engagement for other people, but you can help every one find what is important for them and how to make it work.

4/ Measure progress 📈

Check back in the next week and ask a simple progress question:

“Have you completed the action plan we set last week? Did it help? Why?”

“Do you think we’re moving your learning metric in the right direction?”

5/ Start again 🔁, again 🔁, and again 🔁

As we saw earlier it’s an iterative process so don’t expect a sit down every quarter to be enough.

⭐️ Building engagement is hard but pays off big time.

At Sidekick we take care of the entire process for you.

Every 2 weeks we check-in on different metrics contributing to the employee's engagement. We define a clear measurable goal and empower each employee to reach it. Throughout the process, employees are supported by executive coaches who help guide them to an engaging work-life.

🚀🚀🚀

If you have the ambition of being the best manager, focus your efforts on building a highly engaged team.

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