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Engagement does not always equal performance

In the past decade, many businesses have focused on the use of engagement surveys and programs as a tool to accelerate employee participation and to deliver faster and greater value to business.
 
Where does engagement generate business performance and where it does not?
 
We are seeing varying success across businesses and industries, where engagement survey results may return positive trends, but business performance does not in all cases follow similar trends.

At a macro level, engagement levels are on the rise globally, with Europe and Latin America leading the positive trend, but North America and Asia Pacific lagging behind and with decreasing level of engagement. Yet, we see economic growth has reduced in Europe and Latin America and picked up pace in North America and Asia Pacific regions – as indicated by respective currency trends.
 
Quite simply, leaders who are driving increased performance through improving engagement are doing so with a compelling vision and focussed strategy.

Accountability is with all business managers, not change managers, to ensure that engagement is linked to financial performance, customer satisfaction, retention, and higher yield on business performance. Successful leaders also create an environment where employees understand and commit to the company direction, strategy and goals.
 
Three key fundamentals for successful leaders are:

  • Clarifying, communicating and connecting the vision to daily work
  • Getting a collective agreement of the key principles and behaviours that will drive performance
  • Creating a platform for everyone in the business to rate and review performance ensuring all actions and tools are adding value
  • The final verdict on engagement surveys from our perspective: a potentially powerful tool, in the right hands, with the right follow-up.

 
In a nutshell, all actions, including engagement initiatives should drive the business closer to achieving the vision, if they are not then the question should be asked; ‘Why do them?’.