In this episode, we’re joined by DecisionWise Senior Consultant, Spencer Taylor for an insightful conversation on how managers can maximize growth opportunities for their employees.
“As organizations face hard economic times and cut back on developing their employees, they don’t always realize how much value is added to the company culture and the experience of employees when they have an ongoing opportunity to grow,” says Spencer.
Growth is one of the five keys of the DecisionWise ENGAGEMENT MAGIC framework taught in our new Online Training course.
Listen to this podcast episode for more research, stories and practical tips on growth.
Employee engagement is much more than ensuring employees are “satisfied” with aspects of their jobs, including compensation, benefits, and basic work conditions. Engagement refers to the passion and energy employees bring to their work—the discretionary effort they put forth as a result of the quality of the employee/employer relationship.
Meaning is the first “key” in the ENGAGEMENT MAGIC® employee engagement model. What is Meaning? It’s a very real and personal connection between what you value and the work you do. Your work is something of value—something of worth. It is a major part of your self-identity, or at least involves a connection between who you are and what you do. In order to be engaged at the highest level, you must see the significance of your work and how it allows you to contribute to a greater purpose. You must personally connect to the mission of the organization, and see a clear intersection between your role and your values.
What is the source of a person finding Meaning in their work?
For one of my clients, the director of Emergency and Trauma Services for a successful regional hospital system, the meaning is clear—anyone who receives an email from him sees, as part of his signature line, the following quote:
“Is nos operor, sic alius may ago” “This we do, so others may live”
For him and his staff, the meaning is inherent in the work they do. In this high-stress, fast-paced environment of emergency medicine, they are able to face the daily job challenges with the knowledge and conviction that they are, quite literally, saving lives. As the daily pressures pile up, that connection between what they do and what they believe is apparent. This leader ensures meaning is never lost. Each team member finds meaning in what he or she does, and each knows the importance of his or her role in driving the mission of the organization.
But what is the relevance to you and me? Are we clear about the meaning of our own work? What if our work isn’t about “saving lives?” And what if the connection between our personal value system and the day-to-day work we perform isn’t as obvious?
Meaning: A Key to Employee Engagement
In order to find meaning in our work, we must clearly see the connection between what we value and what we do. For some, assembling a piece of equipment connects with a love of technology. Or it may connect to an innate desire to provide superior customer service by providing the best technological solution. Or, perhaps that piece of equipment is a pacemaker, which may be used to save the life of a father of two. That meaning is different for each of us. However, if we don’t see the link, our engagement is not as high as it could be. We might need our leaders to make the link between our hands and our hearts and minds—the connection between our work activities and how we think and feel about them.
Leaders must help employees find meaning in their jobs.
If leaders want to maximize employee engagement, then they must take an active role in connecting the work with a higher purpose. Steve Jobs wanted to “make a dent in the Universe,” and his most engaged employees wanted to help him do just that. They had the sense that their effort (and, under Jobs, suffering) was worth it because their efforts would change the world.
Jack Welch helped employees, from the top of the organization to the bottom, to see the link between their efforts and “winning,” and he wrote the book on how to do it. As a result, GE employees typically see themselves as unflappable winners who are always ready for the next challenge.
What have you done, or what have you seen leaders do to make the “meaning” connection for employees in your organization? What advice do you have for making a strong connection among hands, hearts, and minds? What results have you seen in terms of employee engagement?
In our blog, “Are Your Employees Engaged or Just Satisfied,” we reviewed some of the differences between employee engagement and employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees operate under a transactional relationship—“Because the company gives me X, I am willing to give X worth of effort.” As Herzberg would say, these elements are “hygiene factors”—they must be present, but do not necessarily result in engagement. Such elements include appropriate compensation, safety, basic recognition, and appropriate working conditions, to name just a few.
On the other hand, engaged employees go beyond a transactional exchange and are willing to give discretionary effort. They bring their hearts, hands, and minds into their jobs. The term “discretionary” implies that there is additional effort available on the part of the employee that he or she can CHOOSE to apply. However, the choice to apply this effort is something not stated in the satisfaction contract; it’s up to the employee.
What do employees need from a job to be engaged?
Based on over two decades of research and a database of over 50 million employee survey responses related to the employee experience, we’ve identified five keys of employee engagement. We have grouped these under the acronym “MAGIC” to make them simple to remember:
Your work has purpose beyond the work itself. What I do must have some significance to me; it must mean something to me personally, and on more than just a surface level. To me, my work is something of value, something of worth. If I focus only on a paycheck, I am willing to put in as much work as is commensurate with the paycheck. However, when my work has meaning to me, what I do has greater purpose.
The power to shape your work and environment in ways that allow you to perform at your best. Do I have the freedom and empowerment to perform my job in a way that I do best? While Autonomy is not anarchy (we must still operate within acceptable boundaries), it does involve a degree of self-governance. It allows me, as an individual, to create or shape my role and environment in a way that is best for me and for the organization.
Being stretched and challenged in ways that result in personal and professional growth. There was a time years ago when one could maintain a base set of skills or level of development, and that base could carry that individual throughout his or her career. However, our internal speed of change and growth must match (or exceed) the external rate of change. Particularly with rising generations, the ability to develop, grow, and progress in a job provides challenge and excitement that benefit not only the individual but also the company.
Seeing positive, effective, and worthwhile outcomes and results from your work. Have you ever worked for an organization where employees give their all, only to face each fiscal quarter with a dismal report of their business performance? The adage “nothing breeds success like success” holds true here. When employees give their all, yet have little impact on the organization’s or team’s success, engagement is difficult to cultivate. On the other hand, if what I am doing is making an impact (on the company, the world, students, patients, etc.), I am often willing to go through tough times if I hope to make an impact. This is also where recognition and feedback fit in. I need to understand what kind of impact I am having; feedback from a customer, peer, boss, etc., will help me understand that level of impact.
The sense of belonging to something beyond yourself. This factor is clear throughout many of our employee engagement surveys. Quite often, one of the highest-scoring questions on the engagement survey is related to a version of the following question: “I like the people I work with.” Employees need to feel a connection to those around them. Similarly, my connection to the organization—whether or not I feel a part of the organization—will often dictate my level of commitment.
Notice that the above “ENGAGEMENT MAGIC®” is not something tied to adding more expense. Employee engagement is not based on a transactional relationship. While both the employee and the employer have a role in engagement, it is not dependent upon a number of transactions; it involves discretionary effort—a choice—not an obligation or debt repayment.
So, next time your organization embarks on another “Employee Engagement initiative,” ask yourselves this question: “Are we really addressing employee engagement, or just depositing more money into the employee satisfaction account?”
Today on the Engaging People Podcast, we talk about proven ways to educate your organization about employee engagement and how to empower managers to create an environment where employees will choose to engage.
The creators of the framework of ENGAGEMENT MAGIC®, Senior Consultant, Charles Rogel, and DecisionWise CEO, Dr. Tracy Maylett, share the origins of the model, the research behind the “MAGIC” acronym, and how to use these keys to lead change and transformation in your organization.
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020 Time: 3:00 pm Eastern / 12:00 pm Pacific Presenters: Dr. Tracy Maylett, CEO; Charles Rogel, VP of Product Development and Senior Consultant Cost: Complimentary, with free registration
Join Dr. Tracy Maylett and Charles Rogel, for a presentation on “ENGAGEMENT MAGIC: How Managers Can Increase Engagement with Their Teams.”
Maylett and Rogel will review the concepts behind ENGAGEMENT MAGIC, including the research behind the five keys of engagement, and provide answers to the following questions:
How can being engaged personally benefit employees and organizations?
What is the difference between engagement and satisfaction?
How does each of the five ENGAGEMENT MAGIC elements help increase engagement?
How do you enable your employees to take ownership of their own engagement?
Where does engagement fit into the overall employee experience, and can managers foster an engaging work environment?
As a special bonus, we’ll also provide an inside look at our new ENGAGEMENT MAGIC online training option.
SPRINGVILLE, UTAH, USA – June 8, 2020 – DecisionWise, the global leader in employee experience consulting, announced the release of the ENGAGEMENT MAGIC® online training course. Based on research found in the award-winning book ENGAGEMENT MAGIC: Five Keys for Engaging People, Leaders, and Organizations, the ENGAGEMENT MAGIC online training provides managers and employees an in-depth understanding of the 5 MAGIC Keys (Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection.) By offering this training, DecisionWise is enabling organizations to build a stronger employee experience by providing managers and employees insight into their ability to engage personally, as well as to engage others.
“This is another great step forward for DecisionWise,” said Tracy Maylett, Ed.D, CEO of DecisionWise. “Our research is clear that employee engagement is most influential at the team level, and the manager of that team has a significant impact on the engagement levels of the team. We have been successfully providing this world-class training in live workshop settings for several years, and now we are thrilled to offer it in an online format.”
As organizations mature from simply measuring engagement to understanding the overall employee experience, DecisionWise research confirms that conducting an annual census survey is not enough. The employee experience is improved not solely by gathering data, but by acting on the findings. While the senior team of an organization can provide organization-wide engagement initiatives, “engagement is local,” states Maylett, meaning the manager and the team are the most influential factors in creating an engaging work environment.
The DecisionWise ENGAGEMENT MAGIC online training focuses on the Employee Engagement MAGIC model: Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact, and Connection. While the online course provides a solid understanding of the keys to engagement, it also puts emphasis on the DecisionWise claim that ownership for engagement “is a 50/50 proposition.” This means that both the organization (and the manager), as well as the employee, have responsibility for creating an engaging environment. Further emphasis is placed on the notion that engagement doesn’t focus solely on employee happiness and well-being; it also involves employees creating action and getting results.
“We believe that engagement is both feeling and doing,” states Charles Rogel, DecisionWise Sr. Consultant and lead in the development of the online training program. “This course was designed to help employees take ownership for their own engagement and succeed in their careers. It challenges false perceptions about motivation to create a new, more fulfilling work experience”
While available for individual participants as well, the training is intended to be completed as a team with regular group discussions, facilitated by the manager. The team discussions drive unity and understanding, while enhancing the learning activities to have a greater impact on development and engagement.
The course is available immediately on the DecisionWise Learning Portal. Organizations, managers, or individuals may purchase the online training per individual, or secure an annual license for the organization.
DecisionWise is an employee experience consulting firm specializing in leadership and organization development using assessments, feedback, coaching and training. DecisionWise services include employee engagement surveys, 360-degree feedback, life-cycles surveys, leadership coaching and organization development. DecisionWise was founded in 1996 and is privately held. With offices in the United States and Brazil, DecisionWise operates in over 70 countries and conducts surveys in over 30 languages.
Media contact: Justin Warner VP of Sales and Marketing +1.801.515.6424 email@example.com
SPRINGVILLE, UTAH, USA – June 1, 2020 – DecisionWise, has been awarded a 2020 Confirmit ACE (Achievement in Customer Excellence) Award in the Employee Experience category. This honor recognizes DecisionWise’s outstanding commitment and significant impact in listening to the voices of both customers and employees to drive change.
For the 15th year, Confirmit’s ACE Awards program honors their clients’ dedication and tangible business improvements. As a recipient of a Confirmit ACE Award, DecisionWise has proven its commitment to their customers by continually evolving its program to make smarter decisions and faster actions, leading to better business outcomes. DecisionWise earned the Confirmit ACE Award based on its ability to lead the way with innovative employee engagement tools, resources, and methodologies.
“Being awarded a 2020 Confirmit ACE Award is a great honor and it underscores our company’s mission of helping our clients build and measure world-class employee experiences” said Matt Wride, President, DecisionWise. “By working with Confirmit to build our programs, we’ve been able to improve our ability to find insights through data, which is reflected in our clients’ successes. The ACE Awards serve both as a recognition of our hard work and progress, but also as an inspiring reminder to us that we can make a difference in helping build better work environments across the globe.”
“We’re honored to present DecisionWise with a 2020 Confirmit ACE Award and recognize their well-deserved accomplishment,” said Kyle Ferguson, CEO of Confirmit. “We have witnessed DecisionWise’s persistent drive to improve experiences and create long lasting relationships. Customer and employee experience are critical components of business success and DecisionWise’s exemplary program demonstrates their ability to consistently move the benchmark higher.”
About Confirmit ACE Awards The ACE (Achievement in Customer Excellence) Awards program was established in 2005 to recognize outstanding achievement in customer excellence. Receiving a Confirmit ACE Award is a distinct honor that demonstrates both rigorous application of customer experience processes and outstanding performance as measured by those processes. All Confirmit customers are eligible for Confirmit ACE Awards for their company, business units, or segments of a business. To be eligible for a 2020 Confirmit ACE Award, organizations must have conducted one or more Voice of the Customer surveys between January 1 and December 31, 2019. Qualifying performance is determined by a combination of customer satisfaction mean scores and top-box rating percentages maintained during at least a 6-month period during the eligibility period. For more information on awards criteria, visit www.confirmit.com/ace-awards.
About DecisionWise DecisionWise is an employee experience consulting firm specializing in leadership and organization development using assessments, feedback, coaching and training. DecisionWise services include employee engagement surveys, 360-degree feedback, employee life cycle (ELC) surveys, leadership coaching, and organization development. DecisionWise was founded in 1996 and is privately held. With area offices in the United States and Brazil, and associates in six other locations throughout the world, DecisionWise operates in over 70 countries and conducts surveys in over 30 languages
About Confirmit Confirmit is the world’s leading SaaS vendor for multi-channel Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Market Research solutions. The company has offices in Oslo (headquarters), Grimstad, London, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Vancouver, and Yaroslavl. Confirmit’s software is also distributed through partner resellers in Madrid, Milan, and Tokyo.
Confirmit powers Global 5000 companies and Market Research agencies worldwide with a wide range of software products for feedback / data collection, panel management, data processing, analysis, and reporting. Customers include Aurora, British Standards Institution, Cross-Tab, GfK, GlaxoSmithKline, GMO Research, KeepFactor, Nielsen, Research Now, RS Components, QRS, SSI, and Swisscom. Visit www.confirmit.com for more information.