I really like the term ‘discretionary effort’, to me it differentiates employees that are not just engaged in their business but those that are engaged and really invested in the success of their team, department and company. They show their level of engagement by consistently helping their colleagues, sharing, supporting, coaching, mentoring – all done without needing to be asked.
When someone starts working with a company - they are engaged. They want the job (they've normally gone through a long process to get the job); they want to work in that company and look forward to meeting and engaging with their new colleagues. Fast forward a few years (less than that in many cases) and that sparkle of engagement has diminished despite the new suggestion scheme or the free lunch on a Friday. So, what’s happened? What has changed? These are key questions for any business that values employee engagement.
In our experience one of the factors that seems to keep popping up is the internal customer experience. If your experience with colleagues is poor – poor communications, not sharing information appropriately, Chinese whispers etc. or if your experience of your managers and the company is poor - lack lustre induction process, no feedback system in place, favouritism etc. our research indicates that this is a key factor in undermining employee engagement. Time and time again we have been told how a lack of communication between departments, teams, managers and individuals is detrimental to the sense of an individual’s sense of fulfilment, success and achievement.
How much PRIDE do your colleagues have in the business you work for?
Now I know this may sound like a simple question but when it comes to finding out how motivated or engaged people are in their work and the business generally, it certainly packs a punch.
If you ask your staff that question via a feedback session or a simple questionnaire, bear in mind one word of caution: if you do decide to ask everyone you work with how much pride they have in the business, be prepared for answers that range from the good, to the bad and the downright ugly. It is one of those questions that tends to illicit the truth and sadly, sometimes the truth is not pretty.
On the positive side it is the perfect question to ask if you want to understand just how engaged your colleagues are and if, per chance, the results are not what you expected, say the measurable ‘pride factor’ ranges from 0-50%, then you must be prepared to take action. Dig deeper and found out the five ‘whys’.