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6 Rules for Increasing Employee Engagement

Claudia Domenici Avatar


We have worked with more than 1,000 organizations and sure have seen the complexity up-close on how to increase employee engagement and productivity. That’s why eloomi was born, to simplify!

By combining different elements in a complex world, eloomi creates simplicity. Studies show very clearly, that monitoring the process that goes from training, into clear soft goal measurement and check-in coaching, leads to higher results. Proved results in eloomi show up to as much as 35 % in a quarter. A process that is best kept simple.

In his insightful presentation, Yves Morieux gives his views on the main drivers of employee disengagement. More than that, he sets 6 rules for driving employee engagement and achieve higher productivity.

Companies spend large amounts of money on reengineering their structures, processes and systems in order to drive higher productivity and employee engagement and/or on training their managers and employees to adapt to these new structures, processes, systems.

Organizations are becoming more and more complex and by trying to improve engagement by work the structure and train the people to adapt, they in fact only add on more complexity. Rather, they add on layers of “complicatedness” to an already complex environment.

Rule 1: understand what people really do.

We need to go beyond the job descriptions and the organization charts and understand what others really do operationally so that we know how different functions depend on and interact with one another. The designer should understand the consequences of his design for the customer services team and for the repair teams before he commits a design and generates costs further down the line.

Rule 2: we need to reinforce the role and powers of the integrators.

Integrators are not middle offices but managers who must have an interest in and be empowered to make others cooperate. How do you empower managers? Firstly, by removing unnecessary organizational layers. When you have too many management layers, you have more and more managers who are too far removed from the action and who need hard KPI’s and score cards to see the reality. What they see is not reality but a proxy of reality. Secondly, you also need to simplify the management rules because the bigger and more complex an organization becomes, the more you must give discretionary power to managers to solve their problems at their level. Quite often, we do the contrary and we end up by creating huge systems of rules which freezes initiative and drains local managers of responsibility. That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be rules but it is vital to ensure that the rule book is lean and that managers can act effectively and quickly.

Rule 3: Increase the quantity of power to everyone

If you want more employees to take initiatives and engage more with the organization, you must give more power to everyone so that they feel they can use their initiative and intelligence to good effect and that they have all the cards in their hands to make a difference. Only then will they be ready to take risks and really seek to cooperate meaningfully with others.

Rule 4: Create a shadow of the future

You must expose employees to the consequences of their actions by constantly creating feedback loops, thereby creating a shadow of the future. This is what the car industry did when they told design engineers that they would move to the after sales service three years on so that they would have to live with the consequences of their own designs. If you empower more people, you must also ensure that these empowered people get effective feedback on their actions so that they are constantly adapting their behaviors to organizational expectations and can clearly link their actions and organizational results.

Rule 5: Increase reciprocity

This means removing the buffers that make functions self-sufficient. There is too much dysfunctional self sufficiency in organizations, largely fed by increased organizational layers and sub layers. Remove these unnecessary layers and interfaces which interfere with meaningful cooperation and we will encourage greater productivity. Above all, seek to design your organization in a way that creates interdependencies between functions so that only cooperation can deliver the required result.

Rule 6: Reward those who cooperate, blame those who don’t cooperate

Rather than promoting a culture that blames failure, we should promote a culture that rewards cooperation and blames non-cooperation. Morieux cites the CEO of Lego who believes that blame is not for failure, blame is for not helping or not asking for help. This indeed changes everything because it encourages us to be transparent and to cooperate.

Above rules have profound consequences for organizational design, for finance policies, for human resource management in complex organizations. Above all, if we implement these simple rules, we will manage complexity without being paralyzed by complicatedness. We will create more value at lower cost. We will simultaneously improve performance and job satisfaction because we will have removed the root cause that hinders both complicatedness. This is the real challenge facing all leaders of complex organizations.

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Claudia Domenici Avatar
Content & Partner Marketing Manager

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