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According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged employees have 3.9 times the earnings per share (EPS) growth rate compared to organizations with low engagement scores. This link between company performance and your employees’ potential will help drive the performance of your employees and your business.

The message? Companies need to focus efforts on building a mutual commitment between employee and employer–the foundation of employee engagement.

Count The Ways

A good way to find out your employees’ engagement level is with a survey, and during periods of high turnover, the sooner the better.

Bob Kelleher is the CEO of the Employee Engagement Group and a consultant on the subjects of employee engagement, workforce trends, and leadership. He shares the following lessons on employee engagement:

Lesson #1: Get buy-in. Don’t do a survey unless you’re convinced your leadership team is committed to listening and acting on feedback. If you do nothing with the results, you will foster cynicism and skepticism.

Lesson #2: Partner with a professional. You want the ability to benchmark your results with other companies in your industry. Many professionals can help you with this.

Lesson #3:  Set the stage. If you’re doing a follow-up survey, promote specific actions, successes, and progress since the last survey. This is a terrific company branding opportunity–and the key to encouraging higher levels of participation.

Lesson #4: Establish a cross-sectional committee. This group will review survey results and make recommendations to management, and should include an equal mix of leaders and respected representatives from your employee base. They will evaluate survey results and prioritize recommendations to the leadership team.

Lesson #5: Act locally. Establish a cross-sectional sub-committee to review local results (departmental, business unit, functional, etc.) and appoint related champions. Your survey results will identify some areas of your business that score significantly better or worse than the company average, so follow up with an analysis at the local level and establish plans of action.

Lesson #6: Keep it simple and execute. The tendency after a survey is to over-promise and under-deliver. To keep this from happening, implement a rigorous review process that includes an itemized budget to fund priorities.

Lesson #7: Implement more. It’s important to concentrate on the interpretation, action plan, follow through, communication, and branding. If a survey fails, it won’t be because you collected the wrong data, but because of a breakdown at some point afterwards.

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