“The rules of employee engagement have changed.”
Changes in technology, globalization and transparency have impacted the factors that drive employee intensity and commitment to an organization.
At BI WORLDWIDE, we call these factors the New Rules of Engagement, which are based on four years of extensive research. These rules for leaders and managers focus on the aspects of work that make employees happy or unhappy and that are most powerful in driving performance. For example, the First Rule is Get Inside Their Heads, which encourages managers to understand the uniqueness of each of their employees and how they work best. The Seventh Rule, Don’t Kill the Meaning, emphasizes the need employees have to be a part of something bigger than just a job and a paycheque – and it’s up to the organization to deliver that. (See the full list of rules on page 4.)
How happy and engaged we are at work can vary. One day we might feel annoyed because of the behaviour of a co-worker or boss; the next day we’re amazed at how time flies because we’re doing great work and having lots of fun. It can also shift based on where we are at in our careers.
Pulled from our research, here are the “voices” of engagement for employees at different tenure levels:
I think this gig just might work out but I’m looking hard as to whether I can trust leaders and to the degree they are fully transparent will tell me a lot about whether I have a
future here. My pay is okay but wondering if it’s fair for the work I perform. And regardless of the money I’m earning, I want to feel like I’m making a contribution for which I can feel part of something greater.
Newer associates want to have all (or most) of the facts and feel they are in the loop. The starting pay is probably okay but as they grow in their value to the organization, they’ll be keeping tabs on whether that is reflected in their compensation. They are getting a glimpse of how what they do can make a difference—keep showing them that path.