Episode 74.5 – Green Apple Slice


Four Steps for Improving Employee Engagement


The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School article, “Four Steps for Improving Employee Engagement“.


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    John: Here we are back, another Monday morning Green Apple Slices. Thanks so much for being here, Rachel, queen of Deloitte Canada.

    Rachel: That’s right.

    John: I don’t know, what is your title again? I apologize.

    Rachel: No, it’s that, queen of…

    John: Right. I read an article and I thought it would be really to talk through is “Four Steps for Improving Employee Engagement.” It’s written by the University of North Carolina Executive Development. It’s online, you can check it out at greenapplepodcast.com if you want to get a link to there. But yeah, just four steps, how hard can that be, right? Everyone should be doing this.

    Rachel: That’s it, yeah. So I like that it’s short, short blogs make me happy. I also like that it’s in four really clear steps, so that’s good. Step 1: Know What Drives Employee Engagement; Step 2: Get Senior Leader Buy-In — we’ll probably go over these in a little bit; Step 3: Communicate with Employees; and then Step 4: Act on the Results.

    Here’s the part that concern me. This is an Executive Development blog and to me it’s like why don’t you know this yet? Like at what level is this being learned, what high level of learning — which of course I clearly have none — needed to be achieved before these four steps came into play because I kind of think like how much of this is common sense, and unfortunately I guess maybe there just isn’t enough of it out there and so we need to really clearly define these steps. Yeah, I was just reading it going “Yeah, of course!”

    John: Yeah, I know, absolutely. But I think that the step that everyone skips is “Communicate with employees.”

    Rachel: I was just going to say that. I was figuring out what we’re going to spend the most time today, yup.

    John: Yeah, because that’s the part that seems like the no-brainer but it’s something that is very rarely done. When I speak to firms all over the country that’s the thing is “Well, we ruled this out and no one seemed to like it.” Well, did you ask anybody if it was a good idea or did you just do it?

    Rachel: But I bet they did a survey, right?

    John: Right, because you can trust those.

    Rachel: Can we just say right now communication does not equal employee survey because they are not the same thing.

    John: Or sometimes they don’t even do the survey. It’s literally just “Yeah, well, we thought it would be a good idea.” Well, you thought really wrong on that one. It’s such a simple thing, just asking people what would make them happy and then kind of doing that.

    Rachel: And also, important to know that Step 4, when you’re acting on the results is not doing what you were going to do anyway regardless of what your employees say, that may be added to Step 4. You think that’s a horrible idea? That’s okay, we’re going to do it anyway.” But acting on the results of that communication.

    John: Right, that’s such a mom move, isn’t it? Yeah, I hear what you’re saying, but we’re not doing that. I hear you can strips and macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, but that’s not going to happen.

    Rachel: That’s not going to happen, you’re good.

    John: Right. But it’s one of those things that when you’re working for a firm or a company that if they actually listen to you then that trust is there and you feel valued and you feel appreciated and therefore you’re more engaged. It’s really not that hard.

    Rachel: It’s really not and yet it seems to be something that people have the most trouble with. Week after week as we’re talking about these things, communication just comes to the top of that thing that needs to be done in order to get employee engagement. We can’t stress it enough, that’s for sure.

    John: Right, absolutely. So there we go, short and sweet, just like the article, Four Steps for Improving Employee Engagement. You can check it out at greenapplepodcast.com. There’s a link from there. And have a great rest of the week. Thanks so much, Rachel.

    Rachel: No problem.

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