The 7 Engagement Questions Every CEO Needs to Answer
I wrote The Workplace Engagement Solution with a commitment to define a practical and actionable response to disengagement. According to Gallup’s last global survey, about 87% of the world’s workers are disengaged. The consulting world treats employee engagement as a chronic illness. Surveys tell us how big the problem is. It is management’s fault. We give them loads of development and not much changes. This is because disengagement is such a pervasive problem that we cannot treat one segment of an organization and leave the rest to chance.
CEOs have a long history of turning culture over to human resources. It happens every day at organizations that are plodding along. But, we rarely see this in category leaders. CEOs like Bill Bechek at Bain, who prioritizes the development of all employees or Scott Scherr of Ultimate Software, who makes it a point to treat talent as members of the family and to make sure they have a sense of life balance. Engagement CEOs are far more rigorous and honest with themselves as other leaders who often are going through the motions just like the rest of the world’s disengaged workers. One of the CEOs that demonstrates this kind of rigorous and organizational honest is Adam Miller, the CEO of Cornerstone on Demand. When I interviewed Adam, it was clear that he answers the important culture questions continually.
For a CEO who is ready to lead a fully engaged culture, answering these questions can lead the way:
- What kind of employer brand will fulfill our vision?
- What are the values, central competencies, and style of our ideal employees?
- When people hear our organization’s name, how do we want them to envision our people?
- How effective is our workforce with continuous learning? What do they bring to the organization as a result?
- What is the current “engagement state” of our managers and how will we improve that?
- What are the various forms of my own personal bias?
- How will I orchestrate the change and engagement solution in my organization?
My readers know that I advocate viewing employee engagement as synonymous with the commitment and ability to change. We cannot have one without the other. Authentic personal change involves a certain degree of discomfort. Any sober alcoholic or addict can articulate what that looks like. But, when we expand the dynamics of personal change to a workforce, only a CEO can establish the kind of accountability necessary to transform the culture.
We have been in the business of personal change for 27 years. When I introduce new ideas to individuals and organizations, I find it is valuable to suggest they look at each concept as if it “might not be true.” Instead, try the ideas on for a few days and see where they lead you. If it turns out to be a bunch of foolishness, throw it away. As a result, many of our participant’s lives have changed because they tried on a new concept for 48 hours.
This is what I suggest here. If you are a CEO or business owner, give 48 hours to answering these questions.
See where your answers lead.
(C) Copyright, 2017, David Harder – (All Rights Reserved)
Buy a copy of David’s new book The Workplace Engagement Solution here.