The Key to Employee Engagement Has Less to Do with Management Than You’d Think

LukensHere is a brief excerpt from an article by Mark Lukens for Fast Company magazine. To read the complete article, check out others, and obtain subscription information, please click here.

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Engaging workers in their jobs is vital to success, leading to better work and lower turnover. But it’s also a real challenge. In an age when 74% of workers want to walk away from their job, companies clearly aren’t creating that sense of commitment.

Engagement is about creating an emotional connection between employees and their work so that they want to put in the extra effort.

But while a lot of talk centers on how management teams can create engagement, real engagement comes from taking the opposite approach, by engaging from the frontline back.

[Here is the first of three areas on which to focus.]

Customer Focus: Creating Frontline Engagement

A recent survey by Bain & Company found that engagement was lowest in the lower tiers of the company where people have less control but more customer contact.

This is therefore where engagement activity can make the most difference, and it is also the place where real change can take root.

Employees at the frontline collectively have the best knowledge of what customers want and what bothers them. This is what they care about. If they can satisfy those customers then they will be satisfied in their jobs, feeling like they’re achieving something.

To create real engagement start by talking with those workers about what their customers want and the obstacles to their satisfaction. Empower your customer-facing employees to solve these problems whenever possible, and as they feel more successful and deal with happier customers, they’ll also feel more engaged.

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Here’s a direct link to the complete article.

Mark Lukens is a Founding Partner of Method3, a global management consulting firm. He has 20 plus years of C-Level experience across multiple sectors including health care, education, government, and talent/human resources.

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