As published on Forbes.com
When you walk into Glassman Wealth Services, each and every employee demonstrates a level of caring and attention to customer experience that you just don’t see every day. Nobody in the office is just “phoning it in.” They don’t have a receptionist; they have a Director of First Impressions. This is a company full of highly engaged professionals. The unfortunate reality is that most businesses are not filled with engaged employees. You might wonder how to spot the telltale signs employees are disengaged.
Experts Weigh In
Joe Mechlinski, the CEO of Entrequest and the NY Times bestselling author of Grow Regardless, is a renowned expert on employee engagement. Joe’s company has many top performing clients including Glassman Wealth Services. Mechlinski and Glassman share another common trait, they have both been recognized as a “Best Places To Work” by regional publications.
The Signs Of Trouble
According to Mechlinski, “When employees lack engagement, deadlines start getting missed. Meetings start or end late. People start throwing out ‘The T Word,’ trust.” You might hear an employee say they don’t trust that their colleague will deliver as promised. They might not trust that the company will live up to the customer’s expectation. Once Trust goes away, not much else matters. Without trust, employees focus on assigning blame, instead of delivering results.
Clearly, a lack of trust is pretty dramatic. As a guest on the Grow My Revenue Business Cast, Joe shared some remarkable insight what to do when there’s disengagement in your workplace. Mechlinski gives some specific strategies to uncover issues before they blow up.
Ways To Engage Employees (And Customers)
According to Mechlinski, “The companies that succeed today are the ones who treat their employees like clients, and their clients like employees. Research has shown time and time again this method pays off; it’s where the marketplace is going and successful companies are falling in line.” Mechlinski offers two recommendations to help companies accomplish this:
- Find a way to make sure everyone feels heard, valued and appreciated. Make the decision that there are no second-class citizens in your business, whether from the janitor to the C-Level executives. This holds true for customers too. Treat every customer like your most important one.
- Find out if your employees are actually engaged. How do you know? Mechlinski suggests measuring the details of engagement. Start with a baseline assessment. It might be as simple as asking for a rating/score (0-10) of how employees or customers feel about the company. You can connect with them weekly through a service like Tiny Pulse to capture sentiment on one issue per week, or even just send out weekly emails and listen to what they have to say.
Entrequest and Glassman are both passionate about charitable organizations in the community. Their employees actively participate as a team in community events. This type of broader purpose emboldens the team members toward a common goal. Yanik Silver writes about this level of engagement on a higher purpose in his latest book, Evolved Enterprise. Silver says, “Your employees could be showing up just for their paycheck at the lowest level of engagement or at the highest level because they truly believe they’re playing a part in something bigger.” He goes on to say, “New research has shown a majority of millennials are willing to take a pay cut in order to work for a company doing something meaningful.”
What To Look For In Engaged Employees
Businesses often overlook engagement during the hiring process. Instead, they might make the mistake of seeing the new employee as someone who can drag new business with them rather than being an integral part of a team delivering results for clients. Barry Glassman, President of Glassman Wealth Services, comments that he first looks for people who are curious. “Our clients rely on us to see things other people might miss. A curious person stays engaged, as they always want to know more; a curious person is never done. When we find curious people with passion, then we know they are an incredible fit to our culture and especially for serving our high net worth clients.”
It’s not just Entrequest and Glassman who have cracked the code of engagement. Engaged employees are the cornerstone of a dynamic business culture. The best performing companies constantly emphasize engagement. Robert Richman, Author of The Culture Blueprint and former culture strategist for Zappos.com explains, “You cannot force engagement from the top down. The first step in defining a culture based on engagement is having a discussion about what culture and engagement mean to the team. Your employees need to earn and own the principles. When that happens, it is unstoppable.”
It’s Your Turn
Where have you noticed remarkable engagement? What’s their secret?