The Bold Faced Blog™

September 30, 2013

Employee Engagement – It’s not Just for Full Timers

Posted 6 years 67 days ago by Alison Harrison

You can’t get away from all the talk about employee engagement these days, even in the world of consultants and contract staff. Ruth Ross, one of our consultants, has taken a keen interest in the flip side, employee disengagement, and finds that it occurs no matter what type of employees you’re talking about.

“When Ashton212 provides a consultant or team of consultants to an employer, they become an extension of the client’s team,” says Ruth. “Consultants, just like other employees, have a responsibility to own their own engagement, but it’s also up to the client’s project lead to manage the engagement of the whole team.”

If that manager is disengaged, then you’ll pretty soon see that spread throughout a team. Put simply, “If your car battery is drained, you can’t jump start another car,” says Ruth. “And if your batteries are low as a manager, you can’t enthuse and engage other people.”

A cure for the silent disease
While the problem of employee disengagement can sound overwhelming, Ruth insists it is curable and that there is a simple solution that managers and employers can adopt immediately at no cost. She puts forward the idea of the “Stay conversation” based around 5 steps:

A - Ask the right questions of people to find out more about what employees need

L- Listen not just to what they say, but also for what they don’t say

I - Identify the two or three actions to take, or obstacles to be eliminated based on the conversation

V- Validate with the employee that the actions you are recommending are okay with them

E- Execute on the plan that the two of you have agreed on

The key to the stay conversation is to make this part of your regular manager game plan by doing this at least once a year, if not more.  This isn’t a performance review nor do the words engagement or disengagement need to be spoken.  Simply taking the time to step back and ask questions can make all the difference between reigniting an employee’s passion, or sitting down to an exit interview

Back in May we spoke Ruth Ross for our Bold Assertions newsletter, and talked a little about her forthcoming book on the symptoms, underlying causes and cure for employee disengagement. The book is taking shape and Ruth was recently interviewed for Forbes by communications expert Carol Kinsey Goman. It’s a great interview and we’re eagerly awaiting the book’s publication.


Tags: consultants employee engagement

Categories: categoryConsulting

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