Here are my favorite articles for the week on employee engagement and creating a culture of appreciation. Feel free to share your comments.

Who’s Got Time to Manage Employee Engagement?  by Jonathan Bright

(Business2Community.com) “Many managers will use an employee engagement survey as a first step to assessing the state of their workforce, which is a perfectly viable approach when done properly and regularly.  “We need to use a defined, measurable strategy and take action on results, being open and honest,” another respondent said. “We need to develop a culture where people do not fear being reprimanded and ‘hunted out’ if they give an opinion via the survey that management doesn’t like. The company needs to be emotionally intelligent enough to take the feedback and make changes. If you truly do not want to know, don’t ask.”

My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite disclaimers, “Don’t ask a question you don’t really want the answer to.” Creating a safe environment means letting your employees have their say – no matter what they have to share.

Forget the Gold Watch and Corner Office, Employees Want Career Conversations by Right Management

(MarketWatch.com) “Of the many factors that motivate individuals at work, two thirds are related to career conversations. Organizations benefit from the improved engagement and increased productivity that follows when employees are equipped to take on new challenges and opportunities. The number one thing employers can do to engage talent and improve performance is to take a bolder, more proactive approach to creating and facilitating career journeys.”

My Thoughts:  Ask your employees where they want to go within the company. If they say, “I want your job,” figure out a way to help them get on the path to achieve it. You’ll have mentored your own replacement as you move up within the organization.

Your Source of Competitive Advantage? Bob. by Joyce Maroney

(HuffingtonPost.com) “Phase 1: Standardize, Streamline & Simplify to Unburden Your Workforce: This is the first and foundational step on the path. The organization actively seeks to unburden their employees from inefficiency and low value tasks. They take the time to clearly articulate goals, streamline the processes that impact those goals, and automate low-value work so that their people can work on meaningful things. Policies are clear and consistently enforced. Accountability and auditability create a more democratic work environment.”

My thoughts:  Figure out what your employees are best at – and help them do more of that task.  When your team members know that what they are doing makes a difference, they will be much more engaged in the task at hand.

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Lisa Ryan, creator of Grategy® is a gratitude expert, professional speaker and bestselling author. For more information contact (216) 225-8027. For information on Grategy® programs please visit http://www.grategy.com. Follow on Twitter: @Grategy