4 best-selling books (with a 5th out soon)
3 pressing questions
2+ decades of experience helping companies win the war on talent
1 leading authority on employee engagement
Organizations count on Eric Chester to help them achieve a highly dedicated and productive workforce. Through his research working with companies who are recognized as “best places to work,” Eric has uncovered the secrets to attracting, engaging, and retaining superior employees.
Balance Point was fortunate to sit down with Eric to cut through the clutter of advice circulating today. We asked him to provide answers to the questions that our clients often ask on the topic of employee engagement.
What are the tell-tale signs of disengagement? Are they the same as low morale?
You can tell when an employee is disengaged when they begin showing up late, leaving early, calling out sick, and complaining often. Negative spikes in their performance and productivity overall lead to the conclusion that something’s not right here.
Employers need to keep an eye on each member of their team to find out what’s going on in their life as it relates to performance. Some people are capable of dealing with distractions—whether it’s a negative situation or even something fantastic—and keep focused at work, while others struggle.
Sometimes what happens at home spills into the workplace and impacts their performance. If not addressed, this can affect workplace culture and lead to low morale.
Are some employees just easier to engage than others?
Managers need to realize that they’re dealing with a workforce that is very diverse. You can’t assume that just because somebody is of a certain age, gender or ethnicity, or holds certain values, that they will or will not be more inclined to be engaged or perform better.
The key to managing people is to treat them as individuals. This requires having one-on-one conversations. There are three questions that are fundamental and that every manager should ask the people who report to them on a regular basis: What do you like about working here? What don’t you like about working here? And, if you had a magic wand or if you were in my position and you could change something, what would that be?
Managers often follow the golden rule: “I’m going to treat people the way I would want to be treated.” But what if the way you want to be treated is not the same way the people you manage want to be treated?
It takes an empathetic mindset to follow the platinum rule “Treat other people the way THEY want to be treated.” This puts the onus on the manager to understand their employees and know what it’s going to take to pull them in, engage them, and have them perform to the best of their ability.
Can you effectively turn around a disengaged employee? Is there ever a situation when it’s a lost cause?
I hear from a lot of managers who say, “I’ve really got a disengaged employee. What am I going to do to turn them around?” You have to be smart enough to realize when it’s over. If it’s not a good fit for the employee and it’s not a good fit for you, it’s time to part ways. It’s possible the person was just a bad hire. And face it, everybody in business has made a bad hire.
But I do believe that there are ways to right the ship. If you’ve got somebody that isn’t performing well, the first thing to do is to diagnose the problem. Prescription prior to diagnosis is malpractice in medicine. It’s also malpractice in management.
Determine why this person is not performing, and if there is anything that can be done to turn them around. Realize the high cost of turnover. Consider the money and resources you must put forth to hire them, bring them on, train, and compensate them. It’s extraordinary.
So if you can, and you feel like this is a person who is capable of doing the job, ask what you can do to help this individual re-engage.
Where can I learn more?
Balance Point collaborated with Eric Chester to present a must-watch, on-demand webinar: Ignite Passion in Your People without Burning Them Out
In this 45-minute presentation, Eric Chester will present the key drivers of engagement. He will share his insight from years of working with top companies, helping them create a dynamic and compelling workplace culture within their organizations.