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Your employee engagement probably stinks. Ask one question to fix it w/ Bruce Morton

Written by: on  September 20, 2010

Are you helping your employees to do great work or hindering them? This year, the biggest problem organisations are having is employee engagement, reaching the lowest level in the last 25 years. Bruce Morton spoke with us at The Daily Telegraph after the Allegis Group / Talent2 conference to share tips he’s used when helping brands such as PepsiCo, Virgin and BP harness the strength of their employees:

The best way to open discussion with your employees to see how good your company employee engagement is to ask one question: “How easy do I make it for you to do great work?” In Bruce’s experience, managers are often shocked at the answers; usually organisations just get in the way of great work.

Common problem: Trying to improve employee engagement as a workforce issue. “You can’t look at employee engagement across a workforce, it’s about the individual.” It’s all about understanding individual needs.

“It’s about tapping into their DNA, what is motivating this individual, what makes them get up with a smile on their face everyday.” This holds especially true when dealing with the younger employees. Gen Y’s are all about output, not input. Don’t measure a Gen Y’s input, rather show you trust them and measure the output. They give you loyalty and productivity in exchange. Baby boomer phrases that answer a Gen Y’s “Why do I need to do this” with “Because I told you so” are a quick way to lose money as your employee turnover rate will increase and your employees will not work hard.

To illustrate: Bruce was consulting a call centre when he noticed a trust issue. The staff was told to ask their managers anytime a decision was over 25 GBP. This was one of the first things that needed to change to show trust. The limit was moved from 25 to 250 and consequently productivity went through the roof. If current staff cannot make a decision that benefits the company at 25 pounds, why are they your employee in the first place?

So try it out, ask one question: “How easy do I make it for you to do great work?”



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