How do you engage your employees in
good times and bad?
Pictures of presenters
Chloe Lemelle, M.S. Shrayashi Jariwala Browne, M.B.A.
The purpose of this webinar is to expose
organizations to the engagement levels of their
employees. It is something that often flies
under the radar, but really needs to be
In order to capitalize and maximize the skills
and productivity that your team has to offer,
you need to figure out how to best engage
them in their work. As the picture describes,
you don’t want employees who are employed
but not engaged, because these are the types
that may leave you at the altar or pursue other
When the economic situation we are currently
in improves, don’t lose your best talent to your
competitors. Keep them engaged and
I want to turn now to a connection that will be
discussed throughout the presentation that
really analogizes job relationships to romantic
When you sit back and think about it, job
dynamics and personal relationships are a lot
alike and they both operate in similar phases…
Phase One: The Search
…You start out in the searching phase where you let it be known that you are looking for that special
someone. Just like dating, job seekers market themselves in some way. They clean up their resume;
tout their knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics; and peruse websites and job postings
looking for that ideal job. They have certain qualifications in mind for what they are willing to accept
and some key characteristics they are looking for in a potential employer.
So, both dating and job hunting involve putting yourself out there, marketing yourself, and showing
interest at the sign of a potential prospect.
Phase Two: Prospects
With prospects, in both dating and job seeking, individuals try to present themselves in a favorable
light. They put their best foot forward, try to minimize imperfections, and try to find common ground
to spark the interests of their prospect. The goal is to impress.
Sometimes your efforts are fruitful and produce strong possibilities for sustained success…
…And other times, your efforts are futile and end up being a waste of time at best or a disaster at
In both cases, some people are impulsive with these decisions, pick a bad fit, and end up being
unhappy because they do not feel fulfilled. Other times, people are unlucky with their prospects
and end up with bad apples. They likely feel forced to settle with whatever decent opportunity
comes their way.
However, the hope is that with time, proper understanding, patience, and mutual understanding;
a strong connection is formed.
Phase Three: Time to Get Serious
Once you emerge victorious through the initial
phases, you then enter into the next phase –
the one that solidifies your relationship into
something more official (the one where you
are given the option to move forward in the
relationship or pursue more options).
Do you say “yes” and accept the job?
You know that once you accept, it is a serious
commitment. Are you willing to accept what
the organization has to offer, or do you feel
there is a better candidate out there?
Once you accept the commitment, you then
enter into a marriage-like state with your place
of employment. You sign the papers, and it’s
Phase Four: The Honeymoon Period
Next you enter the honeymoon period. There is a sense of bliss, excitement of what’s to come,
and peace about finding a stable job. You are meeting new people, soaking everything in, and
basking in the fact that you are no longer unemployed.
We all know why it is called “the honeymoon period” – because it is short-lived. You slowly start
to realize that everything isn’t sunshine and roses and some negative tendencies start to emerge.
Phase Five: The Novelty Wears Off
When the novelty wears off, you
slowly start to notice things about
your employer that get under your
Like in marriage, many couples argue
over the toilet seat issue. Some are
even driven to divorce by this very
In organizations, you are exposed to
new policies, procedures, and issues
with which you may not agree.
It is no longer everything
that you once made it out
to be or rationalized in
your mind that it would
be. You may start to feel
neglected at work or
may not fit in as well in
the team as you thought
you would. Now, all of a
sudden, your organization
doesn’t seem like the
place you once fell head
over heels for.
What is the point of this analogy?
The point is to really illustrate the processes and thoughts at play in work relationships.
Organizations need to be exposed to these tendencies to best understand how to motivate and
sustain there people. Just like some marriages are successful and more auspicious, so are certain
work relationships. You have employees who have been with the same company for decades and
decades and have risen up the ranks.
On the other hand and, more often than not, relationships tend to end on a less favorable note.
Let’s turn now to some statistics…
Couples between the ages of 20 - 25
Data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics
Average Voluntary Turnover Rates
All Industries Accommodation & Leisure & Hospitality
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2006, the average voluntary turnover rate
was 23.4% - the highest being in the Accommodation and Food Services Sector (56.4%) and
the Leisure and Hospitality sector (52.2%).
Pertaining to the restaurant industry, People Report showed that the average annual hourly
turnover was more than 107 percent (2006) and that management turnover was close to
29 percent (2006).
• Normative – obligatory commitment
• Continuance – commitment by necessity
• Affective – commitment by liking
Normative commitment represents feelings of obligation to the workplace. There is a sense of moral
obligation, loyalty, and duty.
Societal pressures may impart to you that it is wrong to leave a job and that you should just stick it
out. You create a psychological contract with your employer that binds you in a sense. In essence,
you commit to avoid being psychologically scolded.
Continuance commitment involves a lack of alternatives and the determination that the costs to
leaving your current job outweigh the benefits of taking a new job.
Maybe you’ve made close friends that you don’t want to lose, maybe you worry about a loss of
pension benefits, maybe you are vested in an organization or eligible for promotion, or maybe the
economy is in a recession, and you are afraid to leave your current employer, so you remain
Affective commitment is often what people think of when they think of commitment. This
represents the emotional attachment, identification, and involvement that an employee has with
its organization and the organization’s goals. Here you are committed because you want to be,
because you enjoy what you do, and you appreciate your organization and what it stands for.
Unlike the other two, where you stay with a company because you feel you have to, affectively
committed employees stay because they want to.
More than commitment and job satisfaction
Now that you understand
commitment, it is easier to
recognize the driving forces
Employees that are
affectively committed are
more likely to be engaged.
Engaged employees are
typically more productive,
more enthusiastic about
their work, and more likely
to act in ways that further
the organization’s interests.
Engaged Not Engaged Actively Disengaged
Data provided by The Gallup Organization (2009)
Conducted in August of 2009, Based on 42,000 randomly selected individuals
• Engaged = passionate about work, feel connected, want to move the organization forward
• Not engaged = no passion or excitement, work just serves a purpose, no energy to go above
• Actively disengaged = very unhappy, likely pursuing other job opportunities, looking for ways to
undermine the organization
It’s All About Connection
If you aren’t measuring engagement, it is really important as an organization to do a pulse
check to feel where your employees are in terms of engagement levels. Engagement is
about finding a connection to the individual. You want to figure out what initiatives or
processes can drive and motivate people to perform. A lot of this can be accomplished by
using organizational surveys.
It is not just the organization’s
responsibility to engage
employees, individuals need
to bring something to the
table as well.
The organization can help you
up the ladder, but you still
have pull your own weight.
bring to the table?
So what does the
Engageability – It’s in your DNA, employee bring to the
not everyone is predisposed An enormous amount of
time and money is being
spent by companies to
engage their employees
and access more
However, a more
exists – do you have an
A few years ago, BHI
introduced a concept
Not everyone is predisposed, what’s in their
makeup, or their DNA makes a difference in how
engageable they are. Some individuals do not
have the capacity to be engaged, as they do not
possess the internal motivation, positive attitude,
and willingness to expend discretionary effort
necessary to achieve engagement.
What exactly is Engageability?
Think about your individual talent…do they
Are they able to move forward with tasks
and challenges because they believe they
can succeed or do they not even try for fear
Locus of Control Locus of control refers to the
extent to which individuals
believe that they can control
events that affect them.
Individuals with a high internal
locus of control believe that
events result primarily from
their own behavior and actions.
They have better control of
their behavior and are more
likely to assume that their
efforts will be successful. They
are more active in seeking
information and knowledge
concerning their situation.
Are your employees in the
Locus of Control
Or do they let others drive for them?
Those with lack an internal locus of
control believe that powerful others,
fate, or chance primarily determine
events. No matter what they do, it’s
all about luck or what someone else is
doing to them.
Do they make things happened or do
things happen to them?
When faced with challenges, do your employees face them with a calm and
Are they able to manage challenges and setbacks with an even head?
Do they lose composure and shut down?
Or worse, do they become extremely upset and agitated, and take it
out on co-workers and customers?
Another trait that drives
Engageability is internal drive
Are the employees you hire just
there for the paycheck, are they
clock-watchers? Or do they
come in to work everyday
wanting to do a great job and
contribute to their own success
and that of the company?
Which leads us into self-efficacy – do they believe in themselves, are they
determined and do they feel capable?
Despite obstacles and challenges, do they feel they can persevere?
Or do they simply bury their heads in the sand, or in this case shell, and
wait for someone else to do it?
Are they optimistic?
When they look at themselves in the mirror, do they say yes I can, or no, I really can’t? Are
they optimistic about their future and that of the company? Do they believe good things will
happen for hard workers?
No matter how they look at things, are the only two roads doom and gloom?
Or are they confident, optimistic individuals who believe in themselves, are
passionate about their work, and come to work everyday with a positive attitude,
ready to tackle challenges, and move themselves to the next level?
How do you marry the two?
So we’ve talked about Engagement and Engageability, now how do you marry the two?
How do you marry the two?
BHI conducted a study with one of our
clients where we measured Engagement
High through an org survey. Engagement was
measured by 12 questions around
Low Engagement High Engagement employees’ attitudes about their
High Engageability High Engageability relationship with supervisor and co-
workers, their understanding of their job,
and whether or not they found their work
meaningful and challenging with the
opportunity to advance themselves.
Low Engagement High Engagement Engageability was measured through a set
Low Engageability Low Engageability of items related to the concepts we just
discussed. We analyzed the data and put
Low groups of employees into quadrants to put
the two together.
Low ENGAGEMENT High We will talk about each of these
quadrants and also best practices in to
manage each set of employees.
Low Engagement Low Engageability
These are people with low internal drive and also receiving minimal encouragement or inspiration to
Not only are they not engageable, but they aren’t being engaged in any way. There is a lack of
commitment and motivation from these employees, and they are apathetic about their work.
Think about how these employees might be affecting others. Identify these employees and
understand how they are affecting others. Are there any diamonds in the rough, that can be better
understood and motivated to perform on the job?
High Engagement / Low Engageability
This quadrant can be described as being
While the individuals may not be all that
engageable, the managers and the
environment are able to elicit energy and
commitment from these employees despite
their inclination to have a lack of
The managers in this case are successful in
determining where the employees passions
lie, and what it is they truly need in order to
get the most out of them.
What can your learn from these managers?
How are these managers addressing lack of
motivation in individuals?
How can you apply this to other manager-
Low Engagement / High Engageability
This quadrant had a strong presence of high
However, it’s lacking in the managerial effort
required to leverage these value-adding team
So let’s think back to the economy, when the
economy starts to recover, are these
employees going to look elsewhere?
They will be looking for an environment
where they feel motivated and challenged,
where they feel they are adding value and
are being engaged in the company’s success.
How can you proactively manage these
employees so that they are retained when
there are other options available?
This quadrant is described as having team members with a strong internal drive to excel, coupled with
managers who are able to encourage and inspire them to go above and beyond. As a result,
employees who fall within this quadrant tend to consistently exceed expectations.
What are the managers doing to promote engagement?
Fill you talent pipeline with these individuals.
Continue to recognize and reward these individuals and show them their hard work and commitment
will pay off.
Group Counseling Renewal of the vows
So think about each
Low Engagement, low
Engageability - Is it time
to make the tough calls,
and “get a divorce”?
Or do you have
something in between,
where it is time to get
some counseling and
Or do you have highly
Divorce? Individual Counseling engageable employees
who are engaged that
Low you want to “renew the
vows” with and keep
Hiring for the Future
As the economy improves, will you be able to retain your top talent?
What are you doing right now to motivate and engage these people?
Hiring for the Future
Who will you hire in the future?
Are you looking for the people who have the right fit for the characteristics of the job
Will you know what they are passionate about?
Will you know what makes them tick?
Will you know if they are engageable?
Do they have the predisposition and the characteristics you are looking for?
Hiring for the Future
How will you find and identify these individuals?
Will you be leaving it up to chance?
So think back to your employee
relationships and what you want
to get out of them?
Do you want to be this couple?
Ways to Prepare for Economic Recovery
• Identify levels of engagement within your
workforce through organizational surveys or
• Use Personality and Engageability Assessments to
identify and create the right person/job fit.
• Identify managers who are best at engaging and
getting results out of employees
• Employ best practices learned from these
managers throughout organization