Do your employees know what is expected of them at work?

Employee retention is more than a paycheck.

Once a certain income level is achieved, that is fair and equitable to other jobs within the organization; the question becomes what are the other motivating factors of employee engagement.

Let’s take Susan, for example.  Susan has worked in a human service organization for three years in downtown Calgary.  She enjoys her work and colleagues, but isn’t sure if there is room for advancement or learning opportunities.  She asked her manager once if she could take a course at the University of Calgary, but the manager replied, he had no room in the budget.  She never asked again.  Lately, Susan has begun to scan the job ads online and found some interesting opportunities.  She is thinking of applying…

How could this situation have been prevented?

  1. Did the employee know what was expected of her and did she have frequent feedback sessions?
  2. Did the employee have a choices on how to implement her projects?
  3. Was she given the level of the responsibility that matched her abilities and stretched her to go beyond her capabilities?
  4. Did the employee feel recognized?
  5. Could the employee influence and have input into the organization’s strategic plan?
  6. Did the employee have a performance management plan including goals, targets, timeframes and skill development goals and training?
  7. Did the employee understand how her work contributed to the organization’s strategic plan and the social impact of the organization?

All of these attributes contribute to employee engagement.  But you may ask yourself, where do you start?

Through rigorous analysis of research conducted over 30 years with 17 million employees, Gallup identified 12 core elements that best predict employee and workgroup engagement and performance. These elements are:

  • I know what is expected of me at work.
  • I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  • At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • My supervisor, or someone at work seems to care about me as a person.
  • There is someone at work, who encourages my development.
  • At work my opinion seems to count.
  • The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  • My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  • I have a best friend at work.
  • In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  • This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.


From this employee survey data, if we look at number 1 – “I know what is expected of me at work”, a starting point for employment engagement can be developed.


When You Can’t Give Your Employees a Raise This Year…

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