Thursday, March 14, 2013

Committed to Engagement (a question answered and a question for you)

A few weeks ago I asked my social media community to submit employee engagement questions and I would answer one in my blog.  Interestingly, I received several likes about the idea (and verbal comments that it was a good idea), but only three questions were submitted.  Thank-you to all for your submissions!!

The purpose of social media is to have an ENGAGED community.  I'm skilled at engaging a team, a group at a workshop, or a leader in a coaching conversation.  However, social media is a new way of marketing for me, and I am still learning (I have an amazing marketing coach, Jennifer Trask,  helping me along the way).

All this made me think about the question selected for my blog and how my experience related to it.  The purpose of my blog is to give relevant guidance and ideas to people and organizations that need it.  It is an opportunity for me to share what I know, to contribute in a way I was meant to, and be engaged in my world, while serving and benefiting you.

Below is the answer to the question.  However, I am following my own advice and asking my readers to share: what do you enjoy about this blog and what topics would inspire you to read?  All comments are valuable to me.  I thank you for reading, and very much appreciate your responses in order to create a more engaged community that benefits everyone in it.  I foresee an amazing future of sharing and learning from each other.  You can post your comments here on the blog, on any of my social media sites, or email me at

The question selected for response (and the questioner won a signed copy of Karen Martin's book, "The Outstanding Organization"):

How do recognition and rewards benefit the company in terms of employee engagement?

The key to engaging employees with recognition and rewards is to know who your employees are and provide recognition and rewards that engage them.  Offering public praise to someone who gets embarrassed or does not value that kind of recognition will not get the results you're seeking.  In fact, the employee could become disengaged as a result.

Any kind of appreciation needs to match an individual's values.  Ask your employees what they value.  Ask them what motivates them.  Ask them how they would like to be recognized when they do a good job or when they go beyond what is expected of them.  Not only will your recognition and rewards then match what they desire and value, but they will know you are listening.

Employees will be more engaged when they feel connected emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally.  They are most engaged when they connect to their organization and team in mind, body, and spirit.  High engagement results in higher innovation, excellence in customer service, reduced conflicts, and higher productivity - this all leads to higher profits.

High engagement will also result in higher attraction and retention rates.  When people feel they are making a meaningful contribution, they will stay and talk positively about the organization.  That leads  to others wanting to be part of it.  In a tight labour market, knowing your employees and matching recognition and rewards with their values is one of the greatest ways to address your skills shortage challenges.

When recognition and rewards are used effectively to engage employees, employees will most likely be happier and more energetic as well.  Who doesn't want to work in an environment like that?