What Drives Employee Engagement?
Six universal Priorities drive employee engagement
There are many ways to drive employee engagement. To drive engagement, first, you must understand the six universal Priorities. They are often called the antecedents of engagement or the drivers of employee engagement.
The six universal Priorities are Fit, Trust, Caring, Communication, Achievement, and Ownership. Constructing a workplace that is aligned with these universal Priorities is complex. The universal Priorities are significant individually, but they often impact each other. Therefore, the presence or absence of any one of these universal Priorities can have an effect on an individual’s engagement and the culture of the organization.
To understand the universal Priorities that drive employee engagement, take a few moments to understand the values included in each:
Fit drives engagement
- With the Priority of Fit, you must consider two key values that promote employee engagement: meaningfulness and harmony. The question of “fit” is a key consideration in the hiring process. Employees who are a fit with the organization and the job will be more engaged because they will find meaningfulness and harmony working for the organization and performing the tasks required for the job. Fit can be evaluated on the organizational level and on the job level.
Trust drives engagement
- Leaders are a vital link in building trust and engaging employees. Several factors impact trust in leaders: honesty and integrity, fairness, consistency, and competence.
Caring drives engagement
- People are social beings. Human connection is a basic need. Therefore, relationships matter. Because people spend so much of their time at work, an environment of understanding, community, and support can nurture positive relationships. This social aspect of work is vital to building a workplace where employees are engaged.
Communication drives engagement
- Communication is an essential tool to improve employee satisfaction and engagement. An open organization has effective multi-directional communication with honest dialogue and feedback, and effective listening. Authentic conversations can enhance reflection and improve thinking.
Achievement drives engagement
- Engaged workers feel good about the work they do. They believe they are growing and enhancing their knowledge, skills, and capabilities. Because of their work, they see a path to future opportunities. They see the opportunity to progress in their life goals. When an organization is committed to employees’ growth and development, as exhibited by ongoing feedback, coaching and mentoring, learning opportunities, and increased and challenging responsibilities, those employees are more committed to the organization.
Ownership drives engagement
- A feeling of autonomy and choice—even with boundaries—increases feelings of control, reduces uncertainty and stress, and promotes engagement. To be successful in such an environment requires trust and transparency so that decisions are made based on knowledge of the business without the need for micromanagement. Also, when employees participate in decision making that impacts them, then they are more engaged.
These values nurture the employee and enhance the competitiveness of the company
In an ideal world, these universal Priorities would not be differentiators. But organizations do not uniformly live these values. Therefore, the presence of these values enhances the competitiveness of the organization and the absence of these values deters an organization from achieving its potential. These are the values that organizations today are seeking to infuse in their cultures to be more competitive. These values bring a human focus to the organization. They nurture the employee’s positive sense of self.
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