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Leadership & Employee Engagement–Case Study Lessons

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in Are Your Employees Engaged?

If you’re serious about training your managers to increase employee engagement, what do you need to do?

Jeff Bushardt is Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Comporium Communications, Inc. I worked with him on a project where training objectives included building trust, creating a shared vision, giving and receiving feedback, and improving accountability and employee engagement.

In our interview, which can be read here, Bushardt identified positive ROI from this project including:

  • Survey and other feedback showing that trust, engagement and focus on company goals had improved.
  • Improved cooperation between HR and Operations management. As Bushardt put it, “our interactions became less about putting out fires and debating compliance issues. Instead we’ve been collaborating on employee development, retention and constructive problem-solving.”

I asked Bushardt to pinpoint reasons why the project was successful. He identified the following:

  • Conducting a needs assessment and tailoring the project to what employees said was needed as opposed to what management or HR assumed was needed.
  • Resisting the “drinking out of the fire hose” tendency. Instead, the program was customized to fit specific company needs and circumstances, with an emphasis on “Just In Time” over “Just In Case.”
  • Building momentum before the program commenced through communicating what would be coming and asking questions to get people thinking before the first training session.
  • Including a “train-the-trainer” component by which several attendees subsequently became internal trainers and coaches.
  • Building in follow-up and follow-through activities designed to move training content into daily behavior and reinforce new practices.
  • Getting the CEO’s full support including his active participation in training sessions and applying the content in his own practices—in other words, “walking the talk.”

When I asked him if there were any drawbacks, Bushardt said, “It’s meant a lot of work for my HR team.” But when I asked if the trade-off was worth it, he had a one-word answer: “Absolutely!”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alex @ Kapta October 29, 2014 at 11:07 am

Often times it starts with creating a strategy to find out what triggers employees to be happy and then moving from there. Businesses often feel they know what their employees want without asking first which could lead to other problems.


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