Some organizations think of employee engagement from the bottom up. They survey their workers, assess results and track data points. While all of that is a good way to measure the commitment of your workforce, it’s not the best way to manage it.
I used the word “manage” here for a reason. Top management must do more than monitor results; they must also provide the financial and technical means to make sustained engagement possible.
What do I mean?
If senior management doesn’t budget for employee recognition then managers in the field won’t take the program seriously. In fact, they will ignore it entirely. Over and over supervisors with P&L responsibilities are told to control spending. If top level executives don’t signal their commitment to recognition by funding it, front line managers are not going to go out on a limb and issue rewards.
Top management also signals their commitment to employee recognition programs by implementing systems that simplify the process. Left unsupported by automation, the on-going adjudication of employee recognition would be too time-consuming for the majority of middle managers. When that happens, recognition becomes a low priority. On the other hand, systems that manage budgets, eligibility and approvals remove the administrative obstacles that hold down activity.
Employee engagement scores are important. They provide the ongoing barometer you need to gauge commitment. That being said, however, it’s the commitment of your top executives that’s much more important.