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Employee Engagement and Productivity

I was recently asked to write a guest article for another software company here in San Francisco. They wanted to know how I would answer the following 2 questions:

  1. How does your organization (or how would you recommend an organization) use employee engagement to improve business growth?

  2. How does your team/organization help cultivate a productivity mindset?

Here are my responses:

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1. How does your organization (or how would you recommend an organization) use employee engagement to improve business growth?

When you google search employee engagement, it can be confusing. The term has devolved into an amorphous synonym for "happiness". That's all fine and dandy, but happiness does not necessarily drive business growth.

My experience in observing thousands of companies is that the formula for increased employee productivity requires the following 3 things at a minimum:

  • A compelling core purpose that explains the difference or contribution you make
  • A clear set of performance metrics that a good person (not a slacker) should be able to achieve 90% of the time if they are doing an honest day's work
  • Regular coaching and feedback on performance from the team leader

2. How does your team/organization help cultivate a productivity mindset?

Naturally, we use our own software, RESULTS.com to help us execute our strategy. But regardless of the tools you use, the key is regular management feedback. This means giving praise and appreciation every week when people are performing well. It also means confronting poor performance every week when people are falling below the required performance standard.

To be blunt, if the team leader is not comfortable giving their employees feedback on their individual performance every week, then you should not be managing people. Making performance visible using software is great, but unless there are consequences for the level of performance, your team's productivity will be less than optimal.

Consequences work both ways. Good performance needs to be recognized with praise and gratitude. Below standard performance needs to be called out and addressed with coaching and support. To optimize employee engagement and productivity, both of these things need to happen on a recurring weekly basis.

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Topics: Management

Stephen Lynch

Author of the award winning business book Business Execution for RESULTS & President of RESULTS.com, Lynch is an internationally known Strategy Consultant and a contributing writer for The Economist magazine.

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