Beyond engagement: How to enable your team

by Pam Waits, Chicago Human Resources Examiner

Companies spend huge amounts to invest in employee engagement tools but study after study reports employees are still not engaged. According to Pete Psichogios, President of CSI International Performance Group, the reason is clear. Increasing employee focus, initiative and high morale only has meaning if we advance employees from engagement to enablement. Having successfully developed a suite of solutions to create exceptional employee and customer experiences that have measurable results, Psichogios believes the key is in getting everyone across the workforce to do the right thing, the right way, at the right time for the right reasons. The “what to do” is simple but the “how to get there” is where we need help. He went on to say that employee engagement, enablement, and exceptional experiences cannot be sustained without a strong partnership between leaders and organizational development professionals. I asked Pete Psichogios to share some ways companies can do this and they are below.

1. Provide training opportunities. Help your employees develop skills so they become more marketable, internally at your company, and maybe someday externally. The new work order has changed and employees no longer trade job security for job loyalty. Instead, they want to succeed in their current jobs, and soon after, be enabled with new skills and learning opportunities. When you invest in the growth and development of your employees, they feel valued and appreciated and this will build loyalty and discretionary energy.

2. Remove obstacles that can negatively affect employee engagement. Too many companies have strict bureaucratic policies and procedures that stand in the way of employee performance. Rigid schedules should be lifted to accommodate for changes in the weather, monthly deliverables, and overall culture shifts. Committed employees don’t need to be reminded of their deadlines, so when they need to leave for family appointments — make their options easy by allowing for telecommute days or returning to the office in off-hours to complete their tasks. On customer communications, authorize your employees to go “off-script” when appropriate in order to make smart decisions to satisfy customer concerns. When you remove obstacles and provide your employees with skills and training, they will serve you better, feel better about their contributions and, ultimately, serve your customers in a more effective, personalized and authentic way.

3. Create and communicate a clear link between job performance and rewards.You should reinforce your employees’ positive behavior and achievements by recognizing and rewarding them for their exceptional service. Having a strong and purposeful employee appreciation program will keep morale high and motivate employees to continue their high performance. But for it to be effective in the long-run, you must ensure there is proper differentiation in how you rate performance among your employees. Showing up should never be recognized equally toshowing up and meeting or exceeding goals. There is nothing worse than polluting the winner’s circle with low performers.

For more info on CSI International Performance Group, please visit:

Originally published here.

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