Focusing on what will cause breakthrough performance always means expanding the engagement and participation of those you work with and lead.

Whatever your strategy for 2015 and beyond, employee engagement will make or break your vision and goals being realized.

Part one of this blog pointed out that the overall level of engagement of U.S. employees is only 28%.

That means that on average, 72% of the people you work with are likely to be unmotivated and not putting out their best effort.

However, most people really do want a sense of meaning in their work and would like to be fully engaged.

What are some of the demonstrated keys to having breakthrough performance in engaging your colleagues?

Here are five avenues of access to building a successful engagement strategy:

  • Aim high; have a vision that is truly inspiring. Include as many people as possible from all areas of the company in the creation of that vision.
  • Set goals that are consistent with the vision and represent a breakthrough, a result beyond what is seen as possible.
  • Establish and increase communication and regular feedback between managers and their people about those goals.
  • Continue to encourage and appreciate progress.
    • 43% of employees who are highly engaged have regular weekly feedback and communication compared to only 18% of those with low engagement. (Towers Watson)
    • Only 40% of the workforce generally knows the company’s goals and vision. (Bain)
  •  Treat each person as a stakeholder and allow them to take ownership as leaders and teams.
  • Create opportunities for people at all levels; so that they contribute, are heard, and have a voice.

Success stories always help to establish the reality of what is possible when aiming for breakthrough performance.

Here is snapshot of an organization that began 18 months ago where poor results were impacting employee engagement.

18 months ago this healthcare organization was facing:

  • Two years of not hitting budget
  • The budget being frozen
  • No bonus and no merit in two years
  • Layoffs, low moral, and employee engagement

By breaking down siloes and increasing collaboration, the team achieved these breakthrough results:

18 months later: 

  • A “broken” revenue cycle is resolved along with issues with reimbursement
  • Quality of care increased for patients
  • Goals to lower re-admissions realized
  • Bonuses paid in April 2014, with a merit increase and another bonus planned for December 2014
  • Employees fully engaged and supporting each other as a team.

“This has been the most rewarding time in my 26 year career; at all levels people are acting like owners in our company.”

—The CEO said of the work his people had accomplished.

These results are an expression of the kind of breakthrough performance through expanded employee engagement that can happen when transformational leadership is provided.

What steps can you take today to begin expanding employee engagement?

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