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When employees know what their managers expect of them, they are more likely to feel connected to their employers. This is one of the findings of Gallup Q12, a survey that measures twelve key expectations that employees need to feel engaged at work. Gallup found that, “Engagement scores reveal that those with high scores in Q12 exhibit lower turnover, higher sales growth, better productivity, better customer loyalty, and other manifestations of superior performance.” (one)
To see how Q12 works in the “real world,” we posted each of the twelve questions on social media sites and analyzed the results. In this series of articles, you will discover why employee engagement matters.
P12, question number one “Do you know what is expected of you at work?? “
Ellen, the executive director of a local university, was in charge of the training department at her institution. Because she was left alone, she often wondered if senior management noticed her efforts. Ellen received her response during an executive meeting when her supervisor told her that the organization was launching a new service model. Ellen was invited to be in charge of the training effort and flown in to a three-day seminar on Exceptional Service. Ellen shared: “I learned more in that program than in all the workshops and seminars I had attended, and I was able to help launch an incredible service model that is in use to this day. My employer invested in me and made me all the difference. “
Why did this work? Ellen’s employer not only invested in her by sending her for training, but it also allowed her to use her skills, knowledge and talents in a new way. When management set high expectations for her, they raised her level of confidence. This new role also gave her the opportunity to take on more responsibilities, and in doing so created a win / win situation: The company got a more versatile employee, as well as a successful new service model for the company, and Ellen realized that management noticed and appreciated your efforts.
The author, broadcaster and journalist, Caitlin, began her career as a reporter for a large national newspaper. Being in such a tough and competitive environment, Caitlin realized that reaching the cover was like climbing Mount Everest. He reached the peak of his professional endeavors when one of his articles finally made it to the coveted front-page spot. Shortly thereafter, Caitlin received a one-word handwritten note from her editor-in-chief that simply said, “Magnificent.” Though this happened decades ago, Caitlin shares: “It made me deeply grateful that I was able to do it at that level and that someone with such high standards liked my work. I was lucky he was emotionally generous enough to share that. praise with me. I still have that note and treasure it. Compliments are very rare in my business. “
Why did this work? The key point of this story is that an event that happened decades ago was still having such a profound impact. The transformative moment in Caitlin’s career happened with a single word, ‘Magnificent’. While in the publishing world, reporters are expected to give their best effort on every article, it is important to recognize that these efforts are made by people who thrive on the encouragement of their superiors. It is essential to capture your staff doing the right things and acknowledge them with sincere words of praise.
When employees have a clear understanding of what management expects of them at work, they excel. Investing in training and providing accurate job descriptions are key components to meeting and exceeding your organization’s expectations. When you let your employees do what they do well and take the time to honestly and sincerely praise them for their efforts, you will have a more productive, happy, and engaged staff.
(1) Thackray, J. (March 15, 2001). Real comments. Gallup Management Journal.