321 | Improving Employee Engagement Takes Intention with Kevin Kruse

When you set out to improve employee engagement, you have to first understand what it is and what it is not. Most people confuse that it is all about working environment and benefits. However, our guest, Kevin Kruse with LeadX.org, shares that 70% of employee engagement comes down to one key factor. You might not like it, but it is the driving factor to improving employee engagement.

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Improving Employee Engagement with Kevin Kruse

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 What Is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is not about making everyone happy. It is not even about employee satisfaction because that does not set the bar high enough.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that we have. It is when everyone (leaders and employees alike) care about the goals. But even when everyone really cares about the mission, it doesn’t mean they feel happy. Sometimes staying in line with the mission can be tiring and stressful. So the type of commitment we are talking about is commitment that goes beyond the paycheck.

What did you have to stop doing to get employee engagement?

Kevin admits that he was the typical entrepreneur who was focused on tasks, not people. He was forgetting to make those human connections. So he decided to be more balanced in valuing what his team members brought to the table. That means knowing them as individuals and showing them that he genuinely cares.

He also changed his behaviors. For instance, catching what people were doing right. Holding career path meetings- which is about touching base with people in where there are at. It opens the space for them to share how how they are feeling about their career paths.

 

Slowing Down

Kevin also started to spend more time focusing on the future vision and the plan needed to get there. He hadn’t slowed down to think about these kinds of things. But by thinking about your team members more- giving them more attention, growth recognition and trust, those are the elements that could make or break a team member’s trust and commitment.

Leadership That Inspires Ownership

Kevin believes in holding the mentality of “It’s not MY company, it’s OUR company.” The MAGIC in inspiring ownership is about getting everyone to care and think like an owner.

This is why Kevin believes every leader should share the results. Leaders are meant to be the filters of all this stuff. It’s not the corporate training program that is going to make one feel like they are growing. It’s about whether the leader is engaging his team about their individual career paths. It’ about the leader’s willingness to help his employees acknowledge their strengths and help them lean into them. In this way, employees feel a great deal of meaning in the work they do.

In this episode we’ll cover:

  • Elements in inspiring ownership
  • Why caring about your employees is imperative to your success
  • Why leaders should share results
  • How sharing results and strategy empowers your team
  • How to be transparent with your employees

 

Practical and Actionable:

Kevin advises us to execute surveys by using things like survey monkey to ask employees questions.

He says to have conversations with people. ask: how satisfied are you here? Would you refer friends and family to join this team if i told you i had a job opening- why or why not? How often do you think about changing jobs to pursue your career?

Not everyone feels like they can have that kind of an honest conversation. But they should and it should be a goal to have as a company. These may be difficult conversations to have, but they must be had. This level of transparency provides great payoff.

 

Resources 

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