Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Paradigm For Employee Engagement: Part II

These times demand a new model for achieving engagement among executives.

While companies know that ignoring employee engagement is a mistake – many say they can no longer afford the costs traditionally associated with achieving it.

With the credit crisis, falling market caps and a drop in earnings, C-suite execs have grasped their cost-cutting hatchets and are taking mighty swings.

In their sights: – people and programs.

And, as pressure mounts to reign in costs, more and more companies are cutting back, postponing or totally eliminating those programs designed to dial up engagement.

The old employee engagement paradigm

The old paradigm of Employee Engagement was based on factors that included money, boss & colleague relationships, training, pride in company, career issues and other variables.

Costs associated with them, especially those related to comp and training were steep. And in this market, dollars alone will not drive engagement.

Survey after survey shows that well over 50 percent of the reasons employees become engaged, has to do with an organization’s ability to provide career help and support. Of all of the factors associated with engagement, it’s the career issues that drive them.

As an added plus, career management assistance costs the least to provide, is easiest to deliver and gives the best bang for the buck.

The new employee engagement paradigm

Companies can no longer offer everything they once did…it costs too much…. and in today’s environment, most executives have lowered their expectations.

What really gets their attention, the one thing executives consistently say they want, is help with their careers. Help an executive gain greater knowledge about and control over their career and you’ll have an engaged employee. I’ve seen it over and over again.

Need more proof that engagement's important? According to the Conference Board, highly engaged employees outperform their disengaged counterparts by anywhere from 20 to 28 percent. That’s a very big payback

Building a new model based on providing individual career management is a cost effective and proven way to grow engagement among those in leadership ranks. It’s the right approach for today’s world.

Reallocate expenses

Most companies provide some level of outplacement to exiting executives. Those costs could go a long way towards supporting a full scale employee engagement program based on a new paradigm that focuses on career management.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to provide the career advancement tools, techniques and materials employees clamor for, long before they are laid off?

Why wait to fire someone to give them what they want?

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