The first step toward employee engagement and retention

Do you listen to your employees?

Would they agree with you?

Every organization I have ever worked with had a gap between the two answers. The wider the gap, the lower the engagement and retention. Every degree which this gap is reduced will increase engagement and retention.  Given productivity is fed by employee engagement and retention this can mean millions of dollars saved or made.

Many organizations run employee satisfaction or employee engagement surveys. The employees are given an opportunity to rate their managers, processes, policies, among many other issues. Many times they are given opportunities to write complaints or suggestions. How the employees view the organizations’ response to these surveys will directly affect your engagement and retention.

The most egregious example of an organization not responding to a simple employee request involved a screwdriver. The employee worked in a manufacturing environment and his machine had a screw which routinely became loose. Maintenance attempted on more than once occasion to fix it. He had no choice but to shut down his machine several times a day, walk back to maintenance, get a screwdriver, walk back to his machine, tighten the screw, return the screwdriver and then restart his machine. Not surprisingly his productivity was near the bottom of the machine operators. This came up in an employee satisfaction survey. When I saw the comment, I immediately walked across the street and bought him a $3 screwdriver and changed his work day forever.

Employees want to be taken seriously and benefit from real progress

Most issues are not this easily defined or solved. Many times the most important thing is to convince the employees you are taking it seriously and working on a solution. These cases are all about communication and eventually coming to a resolution which the employees see as being legitimate. The worst case scenario is when the employees voice a legitimate issue and they already know that nothing is going to happen. They know this because nothing has been done for years. These scenarios are a cancer in your organization.

How many easily defined and solved issues do your employees see every day?