Employee Disengagement

It amazes me how often leaders - even longtime, experienced leaders - just totally miss the boat on the easiest employee engagement opportunities.  When employee engagement survey scores come back with opportunities listed, and then leaders willfully ignore the easy ways to make the connection that is desired, it speaks volumes to their lack of "want to" on the subject.

The organization I work for offers an online recognition program where all employees can recognize each other with cards and even with points that have dollar values associated with them.  Each year on an employee's anniversary with the company, an e-card becomes available to be shared around via email and signed with pictures and comments, offering congratulations and sometimes a hearty chuckle over a memory.  It is a great way to take a few minutes out of the day to connect with someone and these experiences we share together over the course of 40+ hours every week.

One of these emails was recently sent to a leader and I overheard this person remark, "I never sign these cards.  I just delete them." 

Please don't cry about your employee engagement scores being low when you cannot be bothered to spend less than five minutes recognizing someone's commitment to this organization. 

Employee engagement goes beyond just making someone feel good in a random moment.  Employee engagement is an ongoing interaction between leaders and employees that results in an increased level of trust, an expression of desired values and behavior, and a shared commitment to creating an environment that inspires each person to bring their best work to the table each day.

It is not a false, "omg I just love working with you!"  It's a respect for that person as an individual, a sincere passion to work toward a goal together, to be successful individually and as part of an organization.

Those little moments where we can recognize someone's commitment to our teams or organizations take another small step forward in establishing that bond of trust and respect.  They show we are paying attention, that we see the effort and we appreciate it.  It opens the door for additional dialogue and team building. 

I question how someone could call themselves a leader and then so casually dismiss those opportunities.  That is not a leader.  That is someone who fundamentally does not understand the value of people.  Don't "honey, sweetie, darling" me while failing to see my true worth.