Working those engagement survey scores!

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Published by
Jan Hills
February 12, 2016

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Most companies spend time and money undertaking surveys to measure these levels. The data is sliced and diced and individual leaders given the results for their teams.

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Engagement of employees is a hot topic for business leaders, especially in these times of economic strife. There is a lot of evidence that motivated engaged employees contribute far more to the organisation. A review of studies by the Conference Board suggests this is by as much as 20 – 28 percentage points!

As a leader you are responsible for the level of engagement of team members. Most companies spend time and money undertaking surveys to measure these levels. The data is sliced and diced and individual leaders given the results for their teams. Whatever the results I guess most leaders have some room for improvement. The next stage is usually to agree objectives and action plans aimed at improving the scores before the next survey. It can be hard to know what will make the biggest difference. Not just so the survey results move in the right direction but so you have the most engaged and therefore productive, high performing team you can have. The science of the brain, neuroscience can direct your attention to what will most influence the levels of engagement. This knowledge means you can focus efforts more precisely and pin point the actions leaders can control. Brain-savvy leaders know how to work with the team, flex their own style and gain the best results.

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We have been looking at what neuroscience, the science of how the brain works, has to inform us about engagement.

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We have been looking at what neuroscience, the science of how the brain works, has to inform us about engagement. It would suggest that before planning your engagement activity you should consider the following questions:

  • How focused are you on the relationships between team members? How do you create co-operation, harmony and shared pride in work? What actions can you take in this area?
  • How does your leadership style contribute to a sense of reward? How might you be creating a sense of threat? If you have a big team how do you get feedback on the perceived reward verse threat response to your leadership style? Are you managing changes with an eye to maximising a sense of reward rather than threat?
  • Do you have cliques within the team? Who are the in-groups and who the out-groups? What would bond people across these divisions? How does your own leadership encourage or discourage the formation of cliques? What actions will make the most difference here? What do you need to change to role model ‘one team’?
  • What is the relationship between you and the team? How do you build deep understanding of your vision? How do you remain connected to the team when you are really busy? What actions can you take to be more connected to the team? How does the environment manage stress and create a positive mood?

Having considered these questions you can begin to plan how to work differently with the team knowing that you are engaging not just with the person but with the brain.

 

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