News & Events
The Challenge of Employee Engagement – Part 2
- November 24, 2015
- Posted by: dkadmin
- Category: Neely's Nuggets
As was stated in the first article of this series, one of the hidden costs for every business is the issue of employee engagement and it’s impact on productivity. This article will cover the importance of understanding employees in terms of both behavioural differences and value/attitude differences. It will also suggest some additional strategies for an organization to improve employee engagement. If employees truly are a company’s most important asset, connecting to and reinforcing their inner motivation must be considered.
Behavioural Styles – How we do things
In any organization, employees fall into four distinct Behavioural Style categories, each of these employees might become engaged for different reasons. For the sake of simplicity, they will be identified as being either D, I, S, or C. The DISC model of behaviour is used worldwide. Although people are a combination of all four styles, one or two of the styles are usually more dominant than the others.
Style D (Dominance) is very extroverted, and task-oriented. He/she is usually seen as decisive, competitive, and very direct and can be somewhat impatient for results. They will become more engaged if they are given some power and authority to achieve results and have an opportunity for rapid advancement. They also want to feel empowered and have freedom from controls, supervision and details. In times of action, they might say “let’s do it!”.
Style I (Influence) is also extroverted but is more people oriented. They are enthusiastic, talkative, very outgoing and like D they want freedom from controls and data. They want to be able to talk to people and have group or team activities outside the job. They want recognition for their work, especially public recognition. In times of action, they might say “let’s have fun when we do it!”.
Style S (Stability) is quiet, reserved and extremely patient. Under stress they tend to withdraw within themselves and can be easily seen as not-engaged. They want to know the logical reasons for any changes to the status quo. They want to receive appreciation and recognition for their loyalty and contribution to the organization. They want to know that you care about them. In most organizations this is the biggest group of employees. In times of action, they might say “let’s do it as a team!” A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected. Although this applies to everyone, it is more applicable to S people.
Style C (Compliance) is very analytical and task-oriented. They tend to be quality-oriented and prefer to do things to perfection. They require information and data available and they enjoy having tough problems to solve. They want operating procedures in writing and safety procedures which are followed. In times of action, they might say “let’s do it right the first time”. As an action suggestion, managers should meet with some employees to see which is their dominant style and discuss how well the job motivates them in those terms.
Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values – Why we do things
Another important component of employee engagement is for you to understand what they truly value. The following page outlines six attitudes that we all have to some degree.
The Theoretical Attitude (driven by a passion for discovering TRUTH and KNOWLEDGE). The primary motivator behind this attitude is knowledge for the sake of knowing, continuing education and learning. People who are motivated by this attitude take a “cognitive” approach in meeting challenges – identifying, analyzing and clarifying problems and options. Lifelong learning is important for this attitude
The Utilitarian Attitude (driven by a passion for RETURN ON INVESTMENT of time, talent and resources). This attitude gives focus to the practical affairs of life. Efficient use of time and money will be of great importance to those with this primary attitude. Practical results are important for these employees and a strong work ethic is commonly found in someone with it.
The Individualistic Attitude (driven by a passion for POWER). People with this primary attitude are driven by an inherent desire to lead and control the destiny of self and others. They strive to advance their position to attain the highest power and find a leadership role to be reinforcing for them. Power and control can also be demonstrated through one of the other five values (such as Utilitarian – power through accumulation of wealth).
The Aesthetic Attitude (driven by a passion for FORM, HARMONY, BEAUTY and BALANCE). People with this primary attitude look for balance between their internal and external worlds. They seek self-realization and self-actualization, and relate to their experiences mainly from a subjective point of view. A creative outlet or hobby is commonly found in people with this attitude. They believe that “there is more to life than work”.
The Social/Societal Attitude (driven by a passion to ELIMINATE HATE and CONFLICT). Those with this primary attitude are motivated by their love of people. They seek to promote and contribute to others’’ well-being through giving of their focus, time, talent and resources. They will willingly volunteer and/or coach and mentor others.
The Traditional Attitude (driven by a passion for THE HIGHEST VALUE in LIFE). Principles are highly important to people with this primary attitude. They make decisions from a solid set of principles that they use as their guiding forces in life. They will sacrifice all to be true to their belief system. They value traditions inherent in social structure, rules, regulations and principles. This can be found in religion, culture, auditors, police etc.
We are motivated by the two most important attitudes most of the time. If these attitudes are reinforced in the organization, people will tend to be more engaged. The 3rd and 4th most important attitudes provide motivation some of the time. For the 5th and 6th (the least important) attitudes, we can appear negative or indifferent to them if others find them important to them. Which attitudes drive you? Which attitudes drive those who you deal with or lead? Which attitudes are rewarded and supported by your organization’s own culture? When you know, you will be in a better position to more effectively engage employees and increase productivity.
As an action suggestion, managers should meet with some employees to see which is their dominant attitude and discuss how well the job motivates them in those terms.
In our next article, we will discuss the Millennial Generation (Gen Y) and what you need to consider to increase their employee engagement.