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Solve Specific Problems With Employee Engagement Questions

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Wed, May 22, 2013

Monday morning during the Collective Intelligence portion of one of my customers weekly meetings we engaged in asking the team specific questions from the Q12 Gallup Employeedescribe the image Engagement Processto help solve a specific issue on this company’s top priority for 2013.  

Targeting revenue growth for October is critical for this company.  They are financial services advisor and have a deadline to meet their revenue number with their new investment advisor firm.  They recently moved to improve their customer’s financial performance.  

Their challenge is due to a conservative approach (protect and preserve assists) customer’s past performance is not now nor previously been living up to the natural growth and hype that is currently occurring on Wall Street.  This makes it doubly hard to convince current investors to invest more, get new investors to get excited about a mediocre track record, and just as importantly retain current customers. 

We’ve dedicated time to working on their Strategy Statement as well.  Remember Strategy as one of the Four Decisions in growing your business, that you must get right or risk leaving significant revenues, profits, and time on the table.   The strategy statement is intended to bring internal clarity to the business as well as identify who their customer is and the company’s differentiation through competitive advantage and value proposition.   

Let’s look at the three questions we asked from Gallup's Q12 and some of the responses that contributed to our discussion.  The weekly meeting with Collective Intelligence is not as solid a platform as the monthly meeting to take on this size of this project since the meeting is shorter.  We ran out of time, failing to complete the full 12 questions, however we did gain some insights and got commitments from people to do more and exercise initiatives on several of the questions asked.

Q12 Question #1:  I know what is expected of me at work.

Here are the questions recommend to ask to solve the specific challenge:

  • How would we describe what needs to be done and the timelines to accomplish it?  [Since the metrics and priorities for the 2nd quarter are determined there was no need to elaborate on times lines or revenue goals.  This weekend was a good example of the team working together to meet or exceed expectations.  An unexpected opportunity to present their firm came up with a group of Screeners.  Nobody was too thrilled to have to work on a weekend, however each of the Relationship Manager’s and Financial Planning Specialist helped set up, creating a Power Point presentation so the team would represent themselves well.  This is the type of teamwork and initiative this will require and everyone committed to step up to achieve it.
  • How -- and how often -- should we check in to make sure we are on track and on time?  [Suggestions included Client Services setting up appointments, Director of First Impressions confirming them and arranging CEO’s center of influence appointments.  Both of these positions have and are responsible for putting any fires (complaints) out quickly which they do very well.

Q12 Question 2: I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.

  • What specific materials, information, equipment, or other things do we need to be successful? [One of the Client Service’s simply suggested to support the Relationship Managers so they can do their job to the best of their abilities. She’d also had dinner over the weekend with someone who works for a credit union that frequently has people who are looking for financial advice in the form of an advisor.  She passed on the person’s name so my client could make contact with them.}
  • If we don't have or can't acquire something that we feel we need, what other options do we see? [The other client services person indicated that an Action Plan they are currently working on should have a huge impact on the firm being able to attack this and gain more business quickly.]

Q12 Question 3: At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

  • Are each person's talents, skills, and knowledge aligned to the project? [The Financial Planning Specialist is working on a invest Model Presentation that will help the firm’s customers understand the firms unique investing process.}
  • Do any of us feel we could contribute to this project in different ways than we are currently being asked to?  [We ran out of time to get everyone’s input.  The team offered some ideas on how they need to be open and more assertive and perhaps even aggressive at times when they hear of opportunities. Being open to each other’s challenges and providing support they offered is key to reaching the goals they’ve set.}

On the surface this may not appear to be anything of a breakthrough.  Yet breakthrough is not as important as teamwork, cohesiveness and harmony of effort.  Just discussing this with the group, bringing additional clarity and ensuring the priority for specific revenue growth heightens the impact and awareness for this ONE THING.

As we’ve noted Customer Service starts with your employees.  If you’d like to learn more how the Gallup example solved a renovation planning process read the article Applying Employee Engagement to a Specific Business Problem

Core Values are an important part of building your culture.  Where are your Core Values?  Do you have these posted anywhere for your employees to see them each day?  How do you reward, recognize and ensure they are put into action and are not just something you completed once  and forget about?  We look at how one company posted theirs and what they are doing to keep the Core Values alive in their business each day. 

Topics: employee engagement, collective intelligence, strategy, Q12, Gallup's Q12 Employee Engagement Survey

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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