Cascading Leadership - The Show

5 Key Actions Leaders Need to Take to Keep Their Employees Engaged

April 06, 2023 Jim Season 3 Episode 16
Cascading Leadership - The Show
5 Key Actions Leaders Need to Take to Keep Their Employees Engaged
Show Notes Transcript

The conversation focused on the importance of employee engagement and how to retain employees. 

Leaders in the tech and organization space shared their best practices for creating a culture of engagement.

 It was highlighted that employee engagement is a critical factor for an organization’s success, as research shows that when employees feel engaged, they are more likely to stay with the company.

 Five key actions leaders can take to keep their employees engaged were identified, including creating a positive work experience, providing regular feedback, offering challenging opportunities, being transparent about key decisions, and recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work. 

With these steps, leaders can create an environment of engagement and a culture of trust, ultimately helping their employees feel more engaged and invested in their work.


 Cheetung Leong, Co-Founder of Engage Rocket - How Leaders Can Leverage Data to Keep Employees Engaged 


 Shirin Nikaein, Founder of Upful AI on How Fair Assessments are Critical for Employee Engagement 


How a Vision for Success Helps Keep Employees Engaged - Tim Sackett  


The Roles Coaching and Employee Development Plays in Employee Engagement - Emily Farr


Open and Transparent Communication and Its Impact on Employee Engagement - Lisa First Willis 

Music Credit: Maarten Schellekens - Riviera

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 5 Key Actions Leaders Need to Take to Keep Their Employees Engaged 

5 Key Actions Leaders Need to Take to Keep Their Employees Engaged 

[00:00:00] Dr. Jim: thanks for joining us today and I am looking forward to a really interesting show. The topic of discussion is gonna be on employee engagement and why that's important. So we're gonna take a different approach in this conversation and talk to a couple dozen tech leaders and organization leaders and get their advice in terms of what are the things that they focus on when it comes to employee engagement.

[00:00:29] Dr. Jim: Now, why are we talking about employee engagement? When it comes to solving some of the biggest challenges in the world of work, and one of those challenges is how do you better retain your people? There's a ton of research that points to employee engagement as being a critical factor in an organization's ability to keep.

[00:00:48] Dr. Jim: Their existing talent. And that is why we're focusing in on this conversation. You're gonna hear from a lot of great leaders in the b2b HR tech space, as well [00:01:00] as some of the d e I practitioners that are in this space give us a follow once you've heard all of this great insight.

[00:01:06] Dr. Jim: And here we go

[00:01:07] Cheetung Leong: My name is Cheetung

[00:01:08] Cheetung Leong: or you can call me CT I'm co-founder of Engage Rocket. Engage Rocket is an employee experience and performance management SAS software for mid-market companies.

[00:01:17] Dr. Jim: When you're thinking about what organizations and leaders can be doing to keep their employees engaged, what's the one piece of advice that you would give them 

[00:01:24] Cheetung Leong: when it comes to employee engagement? It really boils down to this. It's the managers and equipping those managers effectively to engage their employees across the organization.

[00:01:34] Dr. Jim: Why do you feel that focusing on the managers is the most important thing that organizations and leaders need to consider? 

[00:01:40] Cheetung Leong: When you study data from SHRM, and you'll find that of all the people who have left their organizations, 84% of them, the manager is one of the top three reasons. And when it comes to what exactly a manager does, there are a few different things that matter.

[00:01:54] Cheetung Leong: Great. One of them is the one-on-one conversations, and because it [00:02:00] comprises all of that developmental goal setting and performance management that the manager does with the employee, giving regular feedback on how well they're doing, if they're screwing up, what they need to change, if they want to improve and grow in their career, what they need to do.

[00:02:15] Cheetung Leong: These are all things that a manager absolutely needs. 

[00:02:17] Dr. Jim: If people want to find out more about employee engagement, best practices, what's the best way for them to get in touch? 

[00:02:24] Cheetung Leong: The best way is to hit me up on LinkedIn. You can search for my name, C H E T U N G. And just drop me a direct message.

[00:02:30] Shirin Nikaein: I'm Shirin Nikaein I'm the co-founder and CEO of 

[00:02:34] Dr. Jim: If you're advising leaders and organizations on how best they can keep their employees engaged, what's the number one thing that they should be thinking about 

[00:02:42] Shirin Nikaein: training your managers to do better quality and less biased performance reviews and feedback for their employees.

[00:02:50] Dr. Jim: Why is that important? 

[00:02:51] Shirin Nikaein: Because if the managers don't get the training, usually they're really good, like individual contributors, and then they get promoted into a people manager role. [00:03:00] And this 40 years of studies show that people are just not good raters of other people.

[00:03:05] Shirin Nikaein: So if you don't give them the training, they're gonna have evaluations and feedback that are incredibly biased and not helpful to the person receiving it. So then your frontline employees are not getting the right talent development in the then direction. They're also getting discriminatory evaluations that affect who gets promoted, who gets a salary increase, who is deflated by their evaluation and disengages at work or leaves the company.

[00:03:30] Shirin Nikaein: And all of that is really important to employee engagement and retention. 

[00:03:33] Dr. Jim: If people wanna learn more about different ways that they can keep their employees engaged and how upful can help, where can they find you? 

[00:03:40] Shirin Nikaein: Upful.Ai up F u l ai and you can request a demo or try our product.

[00:03:47] Shirin Nikaein: Our product is software that coaches managers as they're writing the feedback and the evaluat. To be more meaningful and inclusive, 

[00:03:54] Tim Sackett: hi, my name's Tim Sackett. I'm an HR technology expert. I also run a company called, which is US [00:04:00] Technical Staffing. But I do a lot of analyst advisory work, which is basically helping HR tech startups be better than and try to grow fast and do all that good stuff.

[00:04:08] Tim Sackett: I demo around 150 HR technologies a year, which it seems insane to a lot of people, but it really gives me a great. Slice of what's going on in the HR technology space across the world. 

[00:04:17] Dr. Jim: I'm super excited to get your input on it because based on your experience, I'm sure you have a lot of insights to share, so let's get into it.

[00:04:25] Dr. Jim: When you're thinking about employee engagement and your advising organizations and leaders, what's the one thing that they need to pay attention to when it comes to keeping their employees engaged? 

[00:04:34] Tim Sackett: How successful their employees are and that's the crazy part, is that we tend to think of oh, Ping pong tables, or we need, remote work or hybrid work or all this.

[00:04:42] Tim Sackett: I think all of that stuff is important in certain ways, right? But to me, what I find is the most engaged employees are the most successful employees. And so as a leader, whether that's organizationally as a leader, even as a team leader, finding ways to make your employees more successful, the more successful they are, the more engaged they are.

[00:04:59] Tim Sackett: The more [00:05:00] engaged they are, the more successful your company is gonna be. And we try to put the cart before the horse. Sometimes we're like I need to make them engaged, and then they'll be, No. Make them successful and they will be engaged. 

[00:05:09] Dr. Jim: When we think about making employees or creating the conditions for employee success, yeah. What are some of the ways that you would suggest that leaders focus on that? 

[00:05:18] Tim Sackett: I think is a little bit counterintuitive to what people would think. To me, I think great measures of success, if your employees know what success is and how to get there, they will actually reach for it.

[00:05:28] Tim Sackett: And I find is that if I go out to an employee and ask, Hey, do you wanna be successful? 99% of them will say, heck yes, I wanna be successful. Okay, then do we know what success equals do? Do we know what those measures are? And then do we actually show them how to get there and how to be successful with those measures?

[00:05:43] Tim Sackett: . People are like wait a minute. That sounds like micromanaging if you're measuring. No. That's how we measure success, and I think that's how then people feel 

[00:05:50] Dr. Jim: Awesome stuff. So Tim, where can people find you? 

[00:05:52] Tim Sackett: And I, Tim Sackett on the Googles I think I'm pretty well branded there.

[00:05:55] Tim Sackett: There's me, there's a truck driver chaplain named Tim Sackett. I'm not that guy, but it'd be amazing if I [00:06:00] was, I think I stole all of his SEOs. So if you just Google Tim Sackett, whether it's Facebook, Twitters, Instagram, it's just Tim Sackett. 

[00:06:06] Emily Farr: My name is Emily Farr. I'm a senior partner manager at Oyster, and so I'm constantly looking for companies that need help with distributed global employment. 

[00:06:15] Dr. Jim: Thanks for hanging out a little bit.

[00:06:16] Dr. Jim: So first things first, if you're advising leaders and organizations on how to keep their employees engaged what's the number one thing that you would suggest 

[00:06:25] Dr. Jim: to them? 

[00:06:25] Emily Farr: I

[00:06:26] Emily Farr: know it sounds pedantic, but coaching and professional development. . 

[00:06:29] Dr. Jim: Tell me a little bit more about why 

[00:06:30] Dr. Jim: that's important.

[00:06:30] Emily Farr: I think that whenever you're in an organization, it can constantly be what are the goals? Are we achieving things? What are we doing that are immediately impactful to the organization, which obviously is super important, but to keep your employees engaged and invested in the company for the long term, being able to help them develop their skills

[00:06:48] Emily Farr: through coaching is one thing, and then also helping them to figure out what their career path is going to be within your organization is critical. So the professional development element of being able to talk to your manager about [00:07:00] what am I doing well, how can I improve, where am I going is critical.

[00:07:04] Dr. Jim: Why is the focus on professional development and career pathing something that managers shouldn't ignore? 

[00:07:10] Emily Farr: I think it's often because it is ignored. Whenever you're promoting someone into a managerial position, it's probably because they've performed well, not necessarily because they know how to manage a people team.

[00:07:21] Emily Farr: And so one of the things to keep in mind whenever you're not only trying to hit your goals is also being able to keep your team engaged and Discussing and working on the things that are mission critical, but also help them develop their own personal skills so that they feel invested and valued by the company.

[00:07:38] Dr. Jim: Thanks for hanging out with us. So where can people find 

[00:07:40] Dr. Jim: you? 

[00:07:40] Emily Farr: I can be found on LinkedIn, Emily Farr, or you can shoot me an email at oyster emily dot far 

[00:07:47] Lisa First-Willis: My name is Lisa first Willis. I am the CEO and co-founder of Truvelop we are a retention solution for today's workforce. Our value proposition is to inspire employees to stay longer through [00:08:00] real-time feedback and continuous coaching.

[00:08:02] Dr. Jim: I really like the focus on employee retention that you mentioned. . So let's tie that into employee engagement, and you're advising leaders and organizations on best practices to keep their employees engaged. what's the most important thing that they need to keep in mind 

[00:08:16] Lisa First-Willis: I think the most important piece here is making sure that we're having meaningful, frequent conversations between managers and employees.

[00:08:25] Lisa First-Willis: One of the things that we focus on is how do you improve manager and employee relationships at the frontline? If you're not engaged with your manager, if your manager isn't providing you with coaching and helping you do a better job or giving you the tools that you need, then you're never going to be successful.

[00:08:40] Lisa First-Willis: That leads to disengagement and ultimately that employee will leave if they don't feel support. By their manager, their frontline supervisor or their company. 

[00:08:48] Dr. Jim: Why is the emphasis on retention so much of a focus ? . 

[00:08:52] Lisa First-Willis: For us it's all about how do we inspire and retain that frontline hourly worker.

[00:08:58] Lisa First-Willis: If you're not [00:09:00] consistently having a conversation, if you're not sharing with them best practices or how they can do something better, or even if someone needs. Reinforcement, right? Any sort of conversation that you can have that's critical. And we're tracking all of those touchpoints within our app.

[00:09:15] Lisa First-Willis: And that's helping them to drive a lot of the feedback that we're providing. 

[00:09:19] Dr. Jim: Thanks for sharing all of that.

[00:09:21] Dr. Jim: Lisa, where can people find you? 

[00:09:22] Lisa First-Willis: and we're also, of course on LinkedIn and we're on Twitter as well.