Jill Christensen
Jill ChristensenAuthor Blogger
Jill Christensen is a guest blogger for EmpowerPoints, an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who?, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth by re-engaging employees. Jill’s Website | LinkedIn Profile

Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, has a goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.  So, my question to you is this… if Musk can colonize Mars, why can’t you re-engage your employees?

A pervasive theory exists that re-engaging employees is difficult, if not impossible, and it’s simply not true.  In order to re-engage workers, your frontline managers need to go to market consistently, repeating specific actions which meet your employee’s basic human needs. Now doesn’t that sound much easier than colonizing Mars?  I thought so.

What does a sound Employee Engagement Roadmap look like?

  1. Identify the handful of people who will be on the core team and champion the journey.
  2. Gather data, so you know your starting point and the areas where you need to improve.
  3. Create your Manager Action Plan – specific action items managers will act on and deploy in the trenches with employees.
  4. Conduct a Manager Town Hall Meeting – led by a senior leader – to set expectations and share the actions with managers.
  5. Managers execute on the Action Plan.
  6. Gather follow-up data, hold managers accountable for the results, and course correct if necessary.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 every six months.

Why is it so important to move forward according to this Roadmap?  Because traditional approaches to employee engagement (outsource it to Human Resources) don’t work.  In order to create a new reality for yourself as a leader and for your company, you must engage your senior leaders and frontline managers in your journey.  If you do not, you will continue to get mediocre results year after year, and mediocrity does not breed success.

What Can I Do?  Start the conversation in your organization.  Find other people who get it, and partner with them to appeal to a senior leader to champion your journey.  Your job is to educate a senior leader about employee engagement and inspire him or her to lead your journey differently.  To stop relying on HR only and start relying on other critical people – your managers.  Embrace different – just like Elon Musk.