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Employee Contribution: How to Boost Performance

Submitted by  on March 12th, 2011

BlessingWhite identify two components in the employee engagement equation. In my previous post, I looked at what BlessingWhite’s 2011 survey report on employee engagement had to say about the first component; employee job satisfaction. In this post, I want to see what we can learn from BlessingWhite’s research into the second component of employee engagement; contribution to the organization.

In their global survey, BlessingWhite asked employees about the single most important factor that would most improve their performance. As with their responses to the question about job satisfaction, answers varied by region, age group, engagement level, and so on. The responses, though, can be roughly summarized as follows. To lift employee performance:

  • two in ten employees need more resources
  • two in ten employees need more clarity around their role within the organization
  • two in ten employees need more development opportunities and training
  • one in ten employees need more regular and specific feedback on their performance
  • one in ten employees need a coach or mentor other than their manager
  • one in ten employees need better communication with their manager
  • one in ten employees need a better relationship with their coworkers

Note that the survey asked about the most important factor for improving an individual employee’s performance. This is not to say that the other six factors are not important for that employee. They are.

What the report does highlight is that not all, or even most, employees need the selfsame factor improved above all else. The lesson here is that organization or organizational unit-wide initiatives, such as a new work/life balance policy, manager-as-coach training, providing career coaches, etcetera, are effective up to a point. Managers and supervisors cannot escape from the need to engage each individual employee in a conversation about what they need to succeed in their role.

Use the above list when planning your improvement efforts and in your conversations with your employees to target precisely what each person needs to be a star performer in your organization. Tailor your efforts for each of your team members. Remember, personalization counts.

In my next review of the results of the BlessingWhite survey, I will delve into the issue of manager-employee trust and the impact that this has on organizational performance. Stay tuned.


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