Employee engagement surveys are all the rage now. Everybody's doing it.
But there's bureaucracy involved in that. Somebody else owns it, prepares the questions, decides when and how to issue it, report its results, organize follow-up. Now, you're six months later and there's a meeting next week to begin to plan a response to those survey results with said plan being executed ... over the next six months.
But you don't have time for that. Matter of fact, your company doesn't either but that's not in your control.
Here's a simple survey you can do yourself, with every meeting, and quantify your group's engagement.
- How many ideas were shared? How many were theirs?
- How many participated?
- How many agenda items? How many were theirs?
- How many questions were asked? How many were theirs?
- Multiply them together.
There's your meeting engagement score.
Let's do the math with a group that is very engaged.
- 10 ideas were shared. 8 were theirs. 8/10 - .80 80% of the ideas shared were theirs.
- 8 people in the meeting, 7 not including you. 6 people participated. 6/7 = 85%
- 7 total agenda items. 5 was theirs. 5/7 = .20. 71%
- 8 questions were asked. 6 were theirs. 6/8 = 75%
- Math: (.80 (ideas) x .85(participants) x .71(agenda items) x 0.75(questions asked)) = .36
- SCORE = .36 That's GOOD!
But here's what too many experience.
- 3 ideas were shared. 0 were theirs. 1/3 - .33 33% of the ideas shared were theirs.
- 8 people in the meeting, 7 not including you. 2 people participated. 2/7 = 14%
- 5 total agenda items. 1 was theirs. 1/5 = .20. 20%
- 10 questions were asked. 2 were theirs. 5/10 = .2 20%
- Math: (.80(ideas) x .29(participants) x .85(agenda items) x 0.75(questions asked)) = .002
- SCORE: .002. That's not good.
Regardless of your score, you have actionable data, in a bite-sized amount that can help point you to areas that need attention. In this case it's
Ideas, participation, collaboration, curiosity.
Your question is:
How do you instill, inspire, ignite greater amounts?
Now you have a better focus, you have a better target for your inquiry. It's not How do we raise employee engagement levels ... yawn ... is that a cronut? It's:
- How do I inspire more questions in meetings?
- How do I encourage them to add their items to the meeting's agendas and make those items ... ours?
- How do I ignite more idea sharing?
- How do I inspire attendees to become participants?
The key points here are:
- Employee engagement is an every day, every meeting, every conversation/email/chat/phone call/webinar/meeting-in-the-hallway thing.
- Employee engagement is a conversation.
- Waiting for the next directive or mandate to trickle down through the bureaucracy makes you a passive passenger, not an engaged leader.
- Being engaged means using the tools at hand to foster the conversation you and your colleagues deserve.If this doesn't work for you, create one that works for you.
- We're either adults or children, leaders or victims, engaged or not.