Diving Deep Into … Employee Engagement

Author’s note: This blog post is part of an occasional series called “Diving Deep Into …” In each post in the series, we explore a topic beyond just the surface, looking at the trending articles, the people engaged with it and the media outlets covering it. Past topics include HR big data and HR technology. Today we continue with employee engagement. We use SocialEars HR to do the analysis.

Employee engagement is a popular, highly debated topic in HR. Having employees who are passionate about their jobs and motivated to do them is important for companies. But how do companies get their employees to be more engaged?

That’s the big question about employee engagement, but there are many other questions to be answered. As a result, there is a great deal of content and conversation on the topic. To get an understanding on the debate about employee engagement over the last three months, we dive deep by looking at the related content, as well as the social influencers and the media outlets engaged with the topic.

The Content

For any HR topic, SocialEars HR shows the most widely shared
 content on social channels during any timeframe you choose.
Below are some of the most-shared articles, and the main point(s) in each.

1. We Have Employee Engagement @$$-backward, Fistful of Talent, by Paul Hebert 

Main point(s): Instead of beginning with employers and managers, employee engagement begins with employees. Instead of companies motivating employees to act with perks, employees need to earn the perks with their performance.

2. #TChat Preview: Employee Recognition at a Reasonable Volume, TalentCulture, by Meghan M. Biro

Main point(s): Recognition is perhaps the most powerful motivator for employees, but how do employers build effective recognition programs? This article previews a Twitter chat, with one of the questions being: Is employee recognition a driver or outgrowth of employee engagement?

3. Quit Worrying About Employee Engagement, Fistful of Talent, by Paul Hebert 

Main point(s): Companies should worry less about engagement and worry more about “enablement.” They should focus on giving employees the ability to do the work that makes them feel engaged, rather than worry about employees' “feelings” or whether they feel “appreciated” at work.

4. New Research: How Employee Engagement Hits the Bottom Line, Harvard Business Review, by Tony Schwartz 

Main point(s): A new study gives powerful evidence that companies that have higher employee engagement scores enjoy higher operating margins. The key is sustainable engagement — via a work environment that more fully energizes employees by promoting their physical, emotional and social well-being.

5. Ten Powerful Employee Engagement Lessons, Switch & Shift, by Vala Afshar 

Main point(s): Wrapping up a series on employee engagement, this article provides “ten building blocks towards developing a culture of engagement.” Among the ideas are that managers should: share the company’s direction with employees so they work with purpose and belief; seek employee input and listen to it; give credit to employees; admit it publicly when they make mistakes.

6. The 5 Ways That Highly Engaged Employees are Different, TLNT, by Timothy R. Clark

Main point(s): Highly engaged employees behave in consistent ways, and companies need these employees to encourage a highly engaged work environment. Highly engaged employees: 1. Take responsibility for their own engagement; they don’t expect the company to keep them engaged. 2. Feel the least entitled. 3. Engage customers and provide the customer a positive experience. 4. Remain highly engaged almost anywhere; the environment and industry they work in don’t matter. 5. Connect, shape, learn, stretch, achieve and contribute, drivers that allow them to sustain high levels of engagement over time.

What you can do with this information:
• Improve your knowledge
• Share it
• Use it to author better content on the topic
• Link to it, expand your content’s reach and associate your content with good content (we call this TopicJacking)
• Comment on it

The People

SocialEars HR shows the
top influencers (by topic)
during a specified time.
Who are the social influencers who are engaged with employee engagement? They include:

- William Tincup Co-host of the DriveThruHR Internet radio show and the CEO of Tincup & Co., William is a consultant, leading social influencer and popular blogger.

- Deborah Kerr Deborah is a partner at Affintus, a predictive job-matching service, a nationally known speaker on performance and personnel management, and a faculty member at Texas A&M University and the George Bush School of Government.

- Helen Reynolds UK based, Helen is the chief executive at RIDA Group Ltd., and is an experienced recruiter, investor and management consultant.

- Russell J. Thomas Russell is an attorney who represents corporate and personal clients in employment and labor disputes.

- Si Conroy Based in the UK, Si is CEO and founder of Scarlet Monday. He helps owners and CEO achieve their ambitions for their businesses.

- Elizabeth Lupfer Elizabeth is an Internet strategist who has expertise in engagement and productivity through social technology.

What you can do with this information:
• Reach out to them with targeted PR
• Build your network
• Develop valuable relationships/partnerships

SocialEars HR shows the
media outlets covering
a particular topic during a
specified time frame.

The Media Outlets

 What media outlets have covered employee engagement 
 during the past three months? They include:

 - HRZone
 - Human Capital Magazine (Australia)
 - Human Capital League
 - HR Magazine (UK)
 - MWorld
 - T+D Magazine
 - Employee Benefit News
 - HR Morning
 - Human Resource Executive (HRE)

 What you can do with this information:
 - Traditional PR and media relations activities


Employee engagement, almost certainly, will be one of those topics that HR leaders will be talking about, writing about and debating as long as people are working. It seems that, ultimately, while there are things that companies can do to encourage engagement, there is nothing they can do to guarantee it.

Post written by HRmarketer / SocialEars HR team member Eric Anderson.

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