You get an intern over for a few months. Ask her to google “employee engagement strategy” and make a report. She makes a laundry list of things that engaged companies seem to be doing. Borrow 10 techniques each from the top three most engaged companies on the global list that seem easy enough to do – Hand out a few badges, give a few vouchers, put a smiley sticker or two, spam everyone with “Thank-You’s” and voila – engaged employees all around, right?
Employee engagement strategies are unique to each organization. It has to be embedded into the DNA and not become another thing on the HR checklist. It cannot a “part-time” activity slotted into somebody’s time-sheet.
Engagement doesn’t come from handing out vouchers – it is a consequence of handing out the right voucher for the right reason at the right time again and again and again. The challenge for you as a leader is to create a process to identify all three and then create a culture where others do it too.
When you borrow blindly from other companies you will end with the strategy equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster.
Your employees are unique.
Your organization is unique.
Your corporate culture and DNA are unique.
It follows that your employee engagement strategy too, has to be unique.
Successful engagement strategies are built from a deep understanding of the culture, the inter-personal dynamics, and the mission of the company.
Spend the time to understand the challenges your organization faces before you set down the path of engagement. The technology and the rewards are mere tools. You can create a mess or change the world. It is entirely up to you.
Update 03 Oct: HBR Blog Network has a post on how one can’t re-engineer others’ path to success titled “Stop trying to engineer success“
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