Many organisations traditionally conduct employee engagement research to get an overall benchmark of how engaged their workforce is. Based on the findings of the research they’ll probably put in place general engagement strategies (called Organisational Engagement Plans or OEP) to try to improve the culture’s productivity and performance. Does this have a big enough impact? Is there a more effective approach?
These broad brush engagement plans are okay as a starting point, but miss the mark in being totally effective for three key reasons:
Just because employees don’t rate a certain engagement driver highly in the research (e.g. Opportunity), doesn’t necessarily mean strategies to try and improve it should be a priority. For example, growth and development just might not be that important to most employees, so why invest a lot of time and money in strategies to improve the opportunity driver?
Broad brush strategies aren’t effective for many employees because they focus on the general common denominator or ‘average employee’, rather than specific motivational drivers for the individual. Basically one size doesn’t fit all – never has, never will
Human Resources, due to limited time and money can only focus on a few limited strategies based on top generalised issues identified in the engagement research.
The solution is to create a more unique engagement plan at a team level, and this is where Team Engagement Plans (TEP) can be so useful. But, as in Organisational Engagement Plans (OEP), they can be limited, because what engages the team in general may not be the same as what motivates and engages an individual within that team. Team Engagement Plans (TEP) are better than Organisational Engagement Plans (OEP), but again, one size doesn’t fit all.
Therefore the missing link to effective engagement is to first understand which engagement drivers motivate individuals the most. Only then can we start to develop strategies and solutions that uniquely engage individuals and then create a more productive and better performing team of individuals.
So what uniquely motivates and engages an employee? Well, it depends on the individual … Enter Personal Engagement Plans (PEP).
If employers don’t know what engages and motivates their people, then they can’t effectively engage them. As everyone is different, we need to take the “workforce of one” philosophy and treat employees as individuals, not as a team or as an organisation. PEP’s are by far the most effective way to engage and motivate people simply and easily – hands down!
Now, Personal Engagement Plans (PEP) might sound harder, more time consuming and a bit of a paradigm shift, but really all people leaders should have been doing them all along anyway. Doing a PEP can take as little as 15 minutes to do.
As a way of staying thanks for being part of our Life by Design community we are releasing an extract from our People Glue book. 48 pages of thought provoking content on how to change the landscape of employee engagement as we know it now!