Employee engagement (or lack there of) is a growing concern for many business owners and managers. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. employees are not fully engaged in their work and are less productive as a result, according to a recent Towers Watson survey. Owners and managers have a reason for concern.

As part two of this series exploring Employee Engagement, we are going to review the steps an organization can take to improve employee engagement in their workplace, starting with developing a plan. This initiative starts from the ground up as employees alone do not drive engagement. The entire organization, its managers and its employees comprise the level of engagement. Once you have your managers on board, its time to assess your needs and create a plan. Assessment can take many forms and involves a research methodology to gather valuable information about your organization. Many times a company will propose a survey, interviews or focus group methods. Implementing this first step the right way is essential to a successful plan. If you don’t fully understand the issues and problems, your plan will “miss the boat” per se. Having a partner like NorthStar360 or another professional can ensure your assessment is valid and unbiased.

After you have received the data from the assessment, you can begin to plan. How can you help solve some issues that are important to your employees? How you align these solutions with the organizational mission and goals? Action planning demands a multi-step, concentrated, ongoing process based on management commitment, time and accountability. No single strategy or process will be right for every company. A structured approach built with an understanding of the specific needs of the organization is essential for success. Again, having a partner with expertise and an outside perspective will be invaluable in this process.

Remember, even small changes can yield big results. Take baby steps, just keep moving forward. And stay tuned for next month’s newsletter as we delve into the next step in creating an environment for employee engagement: Crafting a Working Environment.