Maintaining engagement during change

Focusing on the four underlying engagement drivers

Before we dive into what employee data to collect and what to do with it, it’s important to understand the four engagement drives.

According to the 2020 State of Talent Optimization Report, on average, only 22% of senior leaders feel they actually know what’s driving employee disengagement. Many companies try to win their employees over through shiny perks such as free lunches or ping pong tables. But what happens if the company can no longer provide these benefits, or if the negatives of the company outweigh the perks? Change can come with a lot of emotions–both good and bad–so it’s important to focus on maintaining morale. To do so, focus on the true underlying drivers of engagement, as shown below:

Misalignment between someone’s natural tendencies and key job responsibilities

Misalignment between manager and staff

When an employee feels like he/she is unlike the team

When employees feel like what the culture expects of them isn’t who they really are

Rather than determining what new enticing perk you can offer, ask yourself, “What do my employees need to feel emotionally connected to their job, their manager, their team, and this organization, amid all the change and uncertainty?” 

Consider an organization that has recently shifted many individuals’ responsibilities to break into a new market. The dynamics and attitudes of the employees are bound to change. Don’t just leave success of an initiative to chance. 

Questions to consider where engagement is being impacted:

  • What is causing the initial friction?
  • What new challenges exist?
  • Did trust in leadership take a big hit because of a decision?
  • Are employees feeling like they don’t have the resources they need?
  • Are people turning on each other?

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