Just how engaged can store employees be?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from LoyaltyTruth.com, a blog published by Hanifin Loyalty.
According to Paul Hebert, a lead consultant at Symbolist, a common definition of an "engaged employee" is hard to come by.
"It’s kind of like ‘quality’ — you know it when you see it," said Mr. Hebert in an interview with LoyaltyTruth. "That said, I do think we can say that engaged employees know what the overall mission of the organization is and proactively use their skills and talents to help fulfill that mission. For each employee, it will be different. For each company, it will be different.’"
At the end of the day, he believes, the goal for the company is to make sure their employees:
- Know what the company mission is;
- Know how each group and each employee can help fulfill that mission, and;
- Can help each employee identify their specific skills and talents that can be brought to bear to help fulfill that mission
Relatedly, Mr. Hebert said one of the most important ways to build employee engagement is to "train managers to be better managers." Engagement is an issue of human connection, not simply a transactional issue.
"If money was the only factor, we’d be shifting jobs every two weeks," said Mr. Hebert. "Companies spend way too much money on systems and gimmicks for engagement and not enough on training their managers to work with employees, provide opportunities for them to excel, and to recognize them when they do."
Regarding pay, reaching some level of parity for the job within their sector will help make pay less of an issue. When treated fairly, pay becomes less of a motivator and engagement tool.
"The key is to provide the appropriate incentive for the appropriate behaviors, something like the Goldilocks principle," said Mr. Hebert. "Remember that too much incentive can create unintended consequences (think Wall Street) while too little incentive just gets ignored. It’s important to hit the right balance."
What level of engagement should or can retailers expect from their store associates? What’s your definition of a sufficiently engaged employee?