Generational Employee Engagement

Image: Generational Employee Engagement

Generational Employee Engagement

Most organizations today have moved away from measuring employee satisfaction and  now focus on tracking employee engagement, since we know that engaged employees deliver business results, while disengaged employees negatively impact the bottom line Engaged employees are high-performing, care about customer satisfaction, build customer loyalty and retention and strengthen business relationships.  Disengaged employees erode customer loyalty and reduce morale.

The most important factor in increasing engagement is a management team that demonstrates an interest in employees’ well being.

What Organizational Engagement Looks Like

There are three key qualities that must be present at an organizational level in order to create a positive relationship with employees. They are:

1. Transparency
2. Responsiveness
3. Partnering

Transparency means an organization and its leaders are open, honest and forthcoming with information. Their motives and intentions are transparent.  For example, they share information with all levels of the organization and highlight how individual roles, responsibilities and/or accountabilities are impacted.

Responsiveness requires that an organization actively listens to its employees and that it is committed to taking action in a timely manager. While not all employee expectations or suggestions can be addressed, a responsive organization communicates what they can and cannot do and proactively manages employee expectations.

Partnering means that an organization seeks a “win-win” relationship with their employee groups.  Leaders and managers view themselves as part of the team, not outside of it. Opinions and ideas are valued from all levels.

What Employee Engagement Looks Like

An engaged employee is an employee who expends discretionary effort, is emotionally connected to the organization and accepts accountability.

Strong indicators of an engaged employee include:

  • Assuming responsibility beyond their role
  • Helping team members work towards a common goal
  • Generating new ideas
  • Speaking positively about the organization and its products / services
  • Accepting accountability for actions, behaviours and performance level

To ensure your work environment is conducive to creating an engaging relationship, focus on developing and enhancing people leadership skills and identify practical ways that leaders can be more transparent, responsive and partnering in their day-to-day actions.

Generational Considerations for Employee Engagement

With a multigenerational workforce comprised of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Ys, each generation possesses different attitudes, values and expectations that travel with them into the workplace. Generational identities translate into behaviours on the job that impact team and organizational performance.

By understanding the generational identities and creating integrated HR strategies that speak to all four cohorts, your ability to create an engaging relationship with employees will increase.  By demonstrating transparency, responsiveness and partnering with all four generations of employees, you will be creating a work environment that taps into employees motivations and translates into higher performance and bottom line results.

Giselle Kovary

As president and co-founder of n-gen People Performance Inc., Giselle is dedicated to building strategies and programs that target, motivate and engage a multigenerational workforce. She is a sought after resource to industry leaders, having worked with 18 of the top Fortune 500 companies. Over 60,000 people globally have experienced an n-gen workshop or presentation. She has devoted more than fifteen years to researching the impact that generational differences have on organizational performance. Giselle has co-authored two books: Loyalty Unplugged: How to Get, Keep & Grow All Four Generations and Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills. She has a Master’s degree in communication studies from the University of Windsor.

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