More organizations are realizing the value of employee engagement and are looking around for engagement solutions. Unsurprisingly, a number of companies have emerged to meet the need. You would think that these two converging forces would result in a marked increase in employee engagement.

But it hasn’t.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace for 2017:

“Organizations are approaching their employee engagement strategies with greater intention and earnestness. They are moving in the right direction and realizing important gains in some elements. Yet, overall employee engagement in the U.S. remains low. For many leaders and managers, creating a culture of engagement is a steadfast goal but one that remains elusive. Gallup has repeatedly found that one of the greatest barriers to engaging employees is a misguided notion of what employee engagement actually is and what it is meant to do.” – Page 67, State of the American Workplace 2017, Gallup

Something is missing from most of these employee engagement platforms. Something that is so important, you really can’t have a successful employee engagement program without it.

But let’s see what these platforms do offer.

They typically offer tons of resources that talk about engagement, they have surveys (mostly pulse or annual surveys) and they have software that measures various metrics that measure engagement. (see our previous post on why quarterly surveys work best)

“Make no mistake about it: Measurement does matter. But companies that base their engagement strategy on a survey or metrics-only solution can get caught up in a ‘rinse and repeat’ pattern that does nothing to improve their business. They focus on engagement periodically — usually around survey time. As a result, these organizations make false promises to employees, pledging change through intensive communication campaigns but providing little actual follow-through.” – Page 67, State of the American Workplace 2017, Gallup

They don’t include the three things that we’ve found make the difference between an effective must-have engagement program, and the kind of engagement program that’s “nice to have” (but doesn’t actually do much).

  1. An Engaged Purpose.
  2. Clear guidance on which metrics are the most important to address first, and how best to address them.
  3. A requirement that there be a BRAVE, CARINGIDENTIFIABLE owner.

Before Stefan Wissenbach founded Engagement Multiplier, he was a coach, and much of our approach to helping businesses reach Engaged status comes from that coaching background.

Gallup supports our stance on this. Metrics don’t do much without meaningful guidance behind them.

“One of the greatest shortcomings of traditional performance management systems is a lack of ongoing feedback and coaching.” – Page 77, State of the American Workplace 2017, Gallup

We don’t just give our clients software that measures engagement and leave them to it. We analyze the answers they receive and collaborate on a strategy that genuinely addresses the most important issues.

We ask each of our clients to first – before they do anything else – define their Engaged Purpose. This Purpose comprises what the company does and why, and is written for the employees (rather than for leaders, stakeholders or customers). That “why” has to emotionally resonate with employees, so they can proudly stand with you while you pursue your big goals together. It’s a rallying cry and a reason for being.

Check out the most common mistakes people make when creating a purpose in our post Engaged Purpose: Why Does Everyone Get This So Wrong?

And finally, we won’t work with companies that don’t have a brave, caring, identifiable owner at the helm. All of our competitors will – they don’t think it’s that important. We do.

You can’t inspire with just an online platform – inspiration needs to be human. This is why we take the identifiable ownership idea so seriously. Because it’s necessary. You need someone to lead. You need a person to inspire and gain the emotional investment of employees.

If done right, you will create you a self-managed team and business. 

We practice what we preach – Stefan Wissenbach is a highly identifiable owner (can’t miss him!) who is so committed to his employees that his energy, drive and passion are contagious. We’ve seen these three key ingredients work in our own business, and we’ve seen them work over and over in our clients’ businesses.

Yes, surveys and metrics are important – how else can you track your progress? But actually making that progress requires more.

Real growth requires more than a survey

We’re more than a survey – we’re a lifestyle.