Reducing “Friction” to Increase Engagement

Some of our work at Red Purse Marketing involves supporting our clients as they seek to improve their internal communications. In that work, we focus on how effective internal communications can enhance employee engagement.

In our last blog post – Purpose + Trust = Engagement – we noted that employee trust in an organization’s leadership increases when leaders listen to their employees so that, together, they can design support mechanisms and systems that allow employees to perform their work as easily and effectively as possible. As leaders, it’s critical to know whether the work our employees are performing in furtherance of our company’s purpose is easy or difficult to accomplish. Consider asking these questions:

Do we provide our employees with adequate tools, technology, and equipment?

Do our processes facilitate or hinder?

Do we provide the training, guidance, and mentoring our employees need and deserve?

We will only know the answers to these important questions by talking with our employees.

We were pleased to see that our view on this topic was reinforced by recent research published by Gartner HR. Gartner’s research contained disappointing data about employee engagement, noting in the headline that “only 31% of employees report they are engaged, enthusiastic, and energized by their work.” While the research contains a lot of data on the topic, this statement jumped out for us: “40% of employees would prefer fixes to difficult processes over development opportunities.”

There are many moving parts in building employee engagement. Where to begin? We have seen that when processes don’t make sense to those doing the work, or when processes seem to hinder rather than facilitate the job that needs to be done, “friction” results and employee effort and engagement are diminished. Examining the work our valued employees do, asking for their advice about how things can be done better, and responding to what we see and hear is an often overlooked but practical way to meaningfully enhance engagement.

Does your organization experience similar challenges, but you’re not sure where to start? Let the Red Purse Marketing team help! Let’s chat.

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