Blog: October 2017
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Employee Engagement

I attended a conference recently, in which one of the sessions I joined, spoke about the importance of employee engagement:  Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers!

Your co-workers and staff are your second family. After all, we spend our entire day at the office together. We share life moments and milestones, so it’s important for everyone to be invested in the culture of your organization, because when we are, we work better. Every team needs time to be together as a family. Having a pizza party, where everyone can relax and catch up with each other, will encourage the sharing of ideas, tips, and know-how.  This only benefits the organization and spills over to the service employees provide to customers. When employees are engaged, the customers get the best from the organization, as well as the employees.

Increasing employee engagement to a degree in which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put unrestricted effort into their work, is the goal to achieve.

Engagement differs from employee satisfaction, which only indicates how happy or content your employees are. It does not address their level of motivation, involvement, or emotional commitment to the organization. For some employees, being satisfied means collecting a paycheck while doing as little work as possible.

Besides bringing in pizza for staff, there are many other ideas for employee engagement. Here are a few:

Professional development opportunities for employees– learning about what’s going on in our industry, with our customers, with our work, maybe earning CE credits toward a designation.

Flextime – being able to work flexible hours, or from home on occasion.

Financials – what is the operating budget of your organization?  Let employees read it. If employees know what the financials are, then they have a vested interest, and can see where the company is and where it needs to be heading.

Leave a little early on a Friday, after a long week.

What we do here, at McKenna Management, to engage our employees:

  • Thankful Thursday lunch – the President treats staff to lunch every Thursday, during busy event season
  • McKenna Management office closes early the Friday before major holidays
  • Beach staff meeting – this is a favorite! Staff participate in fun activities and enjoy lunch on the beach, while discussing topics of interest. It’s a terrific environment to get to know new employees, share ideas, as well as a day away from our desks and screens!
  • Work Remote Day during the summer
  • Once a month pizza party to celebrate staff birthdays
  •  “Snaps” – this is where the office has a chance to nominate a staff member, acknowledging and recognizing their meeting the criteria of the McKenna Management values. A winner is picked each month, and receives a gift card
  • Lunch & Learn meetings – lunch is brought in while staff discuss a chosen topic

Lastly, employers need to be aware that their “A” player on the team suffers, when the “C or D” employee gets a pass for poor performance.  People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. When managers/organizations focus on caring about their employees, they drive employee retention, improve customer service, and inspire creativity.

Think about the ROI for engagement, the benefit to the culture of your organization and your customers. Everyone can have a positive impact on employee engagement.

If it is to be, it is up to me


Karen Murphy is Administrative Manager at McKenna Management, Inc., an association management company based in Westford, Massachusetts.