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Building a Culture of Engagement Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Given the link between engaged employees and business outcomes, commitment to
a transf­orm­ational approach to employee engagement will give you solid, sustai­nable
results. This approach is supported by five attributes that are fundam­ental to attain
and sustain a culture of engagement


Provides a compelling picture and clear line of sight to what matters most in the organi­zation. Employees can clearly see where the organi­zation has come from and where it is going. They recognize how their role impacts results and how their work contri­butes to advancing organi­zat­ional goals. Commun­ication from leaders is consistent and evokes a sense of ownership and passion. Compared to other indust­ries, long-term and post-acute care organi­zations have an advantage. In retail, the mission is to sell more stuff. In manufa­ctu­ring, it’s about effici­ently producing widgets. In our world, we are improving the quality of life for vulnerable human beings. This is an opport­unity to speak from the heart in language that resonates with staff.


The old saying “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers” is true. According to Gallup’s “State of the American Manager,”
the role of the manager has the most signif­icant impact on employee engage­ment, citing that managers account for 70% of the variance across business units. Engagement largely comes down to whether people have a manager who cares about them, grows them and apprec­iates them. The key message is: Invest in your managers! Contin­ually develop and optimize their coaching skills.


This attribute requires the organi­zation to have mechanisms in place that enable employees to express ideas, share concerns and provide input on improv­ement opport­uni­ties. These mechanisms may include employee forums, surveys, focus groups, and suggestion input to name a few. The true test of the presence of an active employee voice is when employees feel that their voice is heard and their feedback is taken into account when decisions are made.


A meaningful connection with other people is a core human need. When the workplace supports a sense of belonging and strong social connec­tions, indivi­duals are more trusting and cooper­ative with each other. This feeling of camara­derie creates a common sense of purpose, group loyalty, and the sense that “we’re all in this together.” Produc­tivity increases and employees tend to feel more passionate about their work and less likely to quit their jobs!


This attribute simply means that organi­zat­ional values are reflected in day-to-day behavior. People share inform­ation, maintain an open mind, deal with conflict directly and follow­-th­rough on promises. Organi­zat­ional integrity must be role modeled by senior leaders and managers.

Measure what matters

The transf­orm­ational approach is fortified when an engagement metric is included as one of your key perfor­mance indica­tors. It’s important to measure what matters. A valid, reliable engagement survey provides you with a quanti­fiable gauge to monitor engagement and gives employees an opport­unity to give their feedback on the company, their job and their manager. This assessment should utilize verified questions that relate to proven engagement elements and offer space for employees to comment on these factors.

Survey results should be segmented into various groups so you can analyze data by job category, generation and length of service. In addition to a quanti­tative summary of the ratings, the narrative comments provide important insights to employee perspe­ctives, and a deeper level of unders­tanding about gaps and opport­uni­ties. Comments should be incorp­orated into your report so you can effici­ently glean valuable, actionable inform­ation.


While employee engagement is a relatively simple concept, building and sustaining an engaged workforce seems to elude many organi­zat­ions. If leaders don’t own and integrate employee engagement as a core business strategy, engagement efforts become an uncoor­dinated bunch of activi­ties. Leadership commitment starts by embracing the five cultural attributes of engage­ment, and is sustained by contin­uously measuring, monitoring and improving your engagement culture.