If you are of my generation (or just musically diverse) the title of this blog post may have you now humming a viral 90's song.
But while listening to the opening lines of Vanilla Ice's global hit, it resonated with me how important these three words are in the increasingly important areas of Engagement, Culture, Workplace Relationships, and the overall Employee Experience.
...insisting that Employee Engagement is something Management and/or Human Resources should take care of.
These are very busy people in any organization, and for them to still be burdened with the management and data collation logistics of a survey (annual or otherwise) is impractical and inefficient. Furthermore, if something is eventually plucked from all the data and communicated to the masses, it is frequently seen as just another top-down management agenda item.
Leadership, middle management, and HR are certainly participants, champions, and facilitators in the process.
Its high time we realized the most important word in "Employee Engagement" is the first word.
Employees want to and need to be engaged in the engagement process. If the workforce sees that they not only provide input but are actively involved in post-survey activities, they will buy into your initiatives. They now have some real skin in the game and will start asking, "What am I going to do?" rather than "What (if anything) is management going to do?"
...across, within and through all levels of the organization.
When people come to work each day they usually interact with a very small subset of the organization - their team, department colleagues, their boss and the like.
If they are empowered and encouraged to work together on boosting workplace relationships and culture in their own area, improvements will be more timely and focussed.
You will start to see frequent, small, sustainable changes at the local level (instead of looking for that elusive one-size-fits-all idea) and as such the organization will improve holistically.
Team leaders and department managers can also share experiences and a sincere, multi-level collaboration effort is now in full effect.
...to employee needs, feedback, concerns, etc... and take time to find out what motivates them or makes them tick.
When important people listen to us and exhibit cognitive empathy, we feel valued and special.
When employees feel valued and special they are infinitely more willing to go the extra step, help in other areas and take pride in their work. People who feel special, act special.
But until managers and supervisors get to know what positively or (more importantly) negatively affects an individual how can we be sure they are optimizing the working environment?
And it's also important that employees' peers and colleagues listen to each other, so they understand how better to interact, help and support each other.
Knowing their voice is heard, seeing actions from it, and feeling valued as a result of it directly impacts an employee's sense of self-awareness and self-esteem. And remember "High self-esteem is the fuel for performance".
If we can all stop, collaborate and listen as we work on our relationships and culture we will be well on our way to becoming a Better Place to Work...and as our good friend Vanilla Ice also said: "anything less than the best is a felony".
Let's kick it...