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Nov 18, 2016  |  Inspiring action and change is a challenge for most organizations, especially when it comes to positively impacting employee engagement and company culture. Pulse and engagement surveys are approaches intended to help leadership listen to employees and measure engagement, but listening without action is simply hearing.

The key to transitioning from listening to action, is engaging your people leaders. In today’s workplace, employees work in highly empowered teams – every team should have a unique engagement strategy that targets the strengths and weaknesses of each group.

Here are 5 suggestions to help engage people leaders in your engagement strategy:

  1. Educate: Your people leaders need to understand the value of engagement. Clearly state why engagement is key to retention and team performance. Show leaders why it matters to the organization and how it will impact their performance.
  2. Measure: Frequently take an employee pulse to understand how changes in the business are impacting engagement drivers and provide people leaders with real time visibility and benchmarks.
  3. Empower: Trust and empower people leaders to come up with initiatives they believe will have the highest impact. This can look like more frequent check-ins with employees, coming up with a development or growth plans, clearly setting goals and expectations with each employee, celebrating successes more often, recognition, or a myriad of other initiatives.  Bonus points if you can support them with the right tools.
  4. Accountability: Engagement and performance of a leader’s team is a reflection of their leadership. Hold them accountable by including their engagement initiatives into their goals/OKRs.
  5. Results: Show people leaders how their actions are having an impact on their team’s engagement and performance. Engagement is an ongoing initiative. Changes in the business will have an impact and it’s on the leaders in your organization to continuously listen, adapt, and act.

Transitioning to an iterative action based culture is a tough challenge, but not making the leap can have detrimental business impact. If you are going to ask for employees for their feedback and measure engagement, it’s critical that you have the processes and systems in place to acknowledge and action that feedback or risk doing even more harm.

Employee engagement can’t happen on it’s own. We need to inspire our people leaders to take the necessary actions needed to create a highly engaged company so that we can see the business benefits that we desire.

If you have any stories of how you’ve included leaders as part of your engagement strategy, we’d love to hear from you.