On behalf of the team @ Profiles, we would like to thank our clients for their support in 2011 and we wish all of our clients & newsletter readers a happy and safe Xmas/New Year.

This month we focus on engagement and its impact on the bottom line. Did you know that disengaged employees are 53% less productive than their engaged counterparts? Do you know who is engaged and who isnít? How can you tell?

This month's feature article, Create a Culture of Engagement, tells you how to find out who's engaged and who is not. You will learn about the three levels of engagement in an organisation and the five action steps to improving engagement.

Featured Article

Create a Culture of Engagement by Dario Priolo

Over the past couple of years, challenging economic conditions have required organisations to tighten belts and do more with less. While we all accept these measures are necessary for survival, the added stress on rank-and-file employees has been excruciating.

Leaders need to do all they can to ensure they foster an engaged workforce that will continue to move forward in spite of the challenges that lie ahead. Those that can pull people together will survive and thrive when times improve.

What is employee engagement?

The difference between engaged and disengaged employees may seem to be a matter of style or personality, but they are based on decisions rooted in loyalty and commitment to one or more levels of the organisation. Disengaged employees not only negatively impact the bottom line, but they also misrepresent an organisation and its culture.

There are three different levels that can be identified as locations of engagement in the workplace:

1. Organisational - Mission, core values, and overall strategy of the company.
2. Managerial - Leaders and managers in the organisation.
3. Employee - Front-line employees and teams.

Addressing engagement at each of these unique levels requires different actions. The remainder of this report will examine the different ways leaders can address engagement and motivate employees to be more committed and excited about their daily tasks.

1. Engagement at the organisational level.

Improving employee engagement at the organisational level is strategic and tactical. Before you can attempt to change your organisational culture, you first must examine the current culture of your organisation.

An organisation's culture is its unique personality: the company's core values, ethics and norms. The mission, vision, and strategy of your organisation are important in identifying whether or not the culture of your organisation supports engagement.

After identifying and defining your organisation's culture, you will need to implement five different actions that will help improve engagement at the organisational level:
- Identify opportunities
- Simplify solutions
- Take action
- Hold employees accountable
- Commit to developing your employees

2. Engagement at the managerial level

Recognising that the actions of senior leadership, managers, and supervisors are the key drivers of engagement, the act of engaging should be a part of every leader's job profile and leadership skill set. Engagement may not be solely an internal motivation issue. There are job factors that affect the engagement of every employee.

Ask yourself these questions:
.Do I have the right people in the appropriate leadership positions?
.Is leadership development an issue?
.Is it both of the above?

3. Engagement at the employee level

New generation leads to new strategies for engagement: One way to increase engagement at the employee level is to make sure you have the employee in a position where he can thrive and grow. This will result in greater productivity and commitment to the organisation. To survive the demographic changes in the workforce you must rethink your workforce strategies and transform your management and human resource practices to attract, engage, and retain workers of all ages.

Target engaged employees : A target employee is one who has a good fit to her current job, is fully engaged on-the-job, and whose performance exceeds your expectations. The target employee not only achieves the goal, but has the ability to elevate the performance of other employees, team members, departments, and divisions.

Challenge and train employees : You may also need to think differently about challenging your employees. Research shows that managers are up to four times more engaged than front-line employees. This is due to the additional challenges managers face. Provide your employees with stretch goals, avoid micromanaging, and let them learn from their mistakes.

Bringing it all together : It is impossible to create a culture of engagement without knowing the personality and characteristics of your employees and managers. Leaders must be aware of the engagement levels of their employees. Assessments provide an opportunity to learn more about each employee and how they fit into their job and the organisation.

PROFILES VICTORIA
DECEMBER 2011


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