Employee engagement has been at the forefront of business topics for a couple of years now at least. I have found a number of definitions and interpretations of employee engagement and I really like this article in Forbes by Kevin Kruse, [@Kruse]. Kevin Kruse uses this definition, “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.”
I believe employee engagement is the most critical competitive advantage a business of any size can achieve. It is the first point of focus when I am asked to lead a business, consult to a business or invest in a business.
I have five key tactics that contribute to building and sustaining employee engagement. My five tactics can be further broken down into methods, processes, tools and other contributing factors to ensuring the successful execution of each tactic. You can get in touch with me if you have some ideas, comments or questions.
Believe it or not this one is often the most neglected. Many companies hire for competencies, track record, experience and education. These are all fine but if you want to build engagement you need to consider personal behavioral and style and cultural fit.
I use an assessment tool that enables me to gain deep insight into a person’s behavioral profile. This information enables me to understand clearly how a candidate will behave when faced with certain environment situations. I have also developed assessments that include competencies to understand the interplay of the behavioral profile and the execution of a job role with mandatory and ideal competencies. I can also run reports that give me a ‘helicopter’ view of the entire organisation or a specific team to see where the candidate will fit in. Will the new person fill a gap or skew the team profile one way or other.
I hire slow. Back in the heated days of tech skill shortages and frenzied demand for IT skills, candidates were hired based on a CV only. I always resisted and am now benefitting from having a long tenured team of developers in one of my companies. Consider including some social interaction with short-listed candidates to see if you feel comfortable with them. If you feel uneasy in a social setting you are likely to feel the same way in the work environment. You should also include a meeting at the office or a social setting for your team to meet the candidates. This feedback is invaluable and ensures you are getting a good critical cross check to your impressions and possible biases.
Using the behavioural profiles, multiple interviews and meetings with other team-members is a win-win strategy for you and the candidates. In my experience doing this shortens the ramp-up time to having a fully contributing team member. It also contributes to a shared responsibility for helping a new team member to ramp up and enjoy the benefits of enculturation more quickly.