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12 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

31 October 2017

Allison read The Relationship Between Engagement at Work and Organizational Outcomes (2016 Q12® Meta-Analysis: Ninth Edition) and was grateful for Gallup's continued commitment to helping organizations thrive by improving employee satisfaction.

Tags: allison read, culture, management and supervision

Gallup defines engaged employees as those who, "Work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward." If you're an owner of a business or leader of an organization, I bet you wish your employees felt that way. If you're an employee, I predict you would like to feel that way each day at work. And if you're a cynic on either side of that equation you might roll your eyes and wonder, "How can anyone achieve that kind of engagement?"

According to the 2006 Q12® Meta-Analysis, "In the 1930s, George Gallup began a worldwide study of human needs and satisfactions. He pioneered the development of scientific sampling processes to measure popular opinion." Over the years, his work set the foundation for some of the best, research-based insights into what leads to employee engagement and how that engagement directly impacts organizational success. Last year, Gallup published its 9th edition of the Q12® Meta-Analysis where once again it proved that employees who can answer "yes" to the following questions are more engaged: 

  • "Q01. I know what is expected of me at work.
  • Q02. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  • Q03. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  • Q04. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • Q05. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  • Q06. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  • Q07. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  • Q08. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  • Q09. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  • Q10. I have a best friend at work.
  • Q11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  • Q12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow."

Did you know that a computer that can’t hold its charge could also be decreasing an employee’s engagement or that encouraging friendship at work could improve satisfaction? When we teach The Art of Being a Great Boss, we remind supervisors that they have the power to impact each one of these measures. (A doctor can thank the janitor for cleaning a patient's room and decreasing complications from infections. That's a connection that's real, but it sure is good to hear that message from someone with more power than you have when you're the one cleaning the toilet.) Some of these measures of engagement are harder to achieve than others, but all of them are well within a manager’s control.

p.s. If you need to see the proof, Gallup generously provides a free copy of its Q12® Meta-Analysis report here. You can also learn more about the practical application of these insights in the book, 12: The Elements of Great Managing by Rodd Wagner and Jim Harter.


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