Leadership Café

The Employee Experience Toolkit: a powerful new tool for engagement

Categories: Leadership features, Planning Tools, POD News

By Josina Garnham, Training & Organizational Development Consultant

How can you contribute to employee engagement?

As a manager within the UW community, you are uniquely positioned to create conditions in which people feel fully engaged. In fact, recent research from Gallup (2018) found that “the quality of the manager is the single most significant factor in your organization’s long-term success.

It’s you, as the manager, and the relationships you cultivate with your employees that create an inclusive and productive workplace, and Professional & Organizational Development has created tools to support you in this area.

Why now?

This year has brought a unique and powerful set of challenges that have impacted workforces across the globe. At a time when tension and anxiety are running high and employees may be balancing a host of responsibilities, many of us are not experiencing in-person interactions that foster positive working relationships.

Now more than ever, we need increased connection and communication. Managers need to create space for open conversations where employees can share their needs and aspirations authentically. We need to let each person we work with know that they are seen, heard and cared for.

In support of these aims, Professional & Organizational Development has created an Employee Experience Toolkit and a set of wrap-around resources for managers to use in skillfully holding thoughtful and intentional conversations with their employees.

How do you get started using the toolkit?

Start by familiarizing yourself with the toolkit — even if just scanning it page by page — in its entirety. The toolkit is designed to be flexible and dynamic, and it includes sample questions and practical tips to meet a variety of needs, including:

  • Enhancing the onboarding experience
    • Use questions from the toolkit at regular intervals after a new employee begins to deepen your relationship and foster inclusion.
  • Making your regular 1:1s or check-ins more meaningful
    • Weave questions from the toolkit into your regular meetings and conversations.
  • Having those big conversations
    • Select questions from the toolkit to use at the half-way mark between annual performance reviews as a way to touch on goals and to create an opportunity for reflective dialogue.
  • Gaining more insight into why people stay
    • Ask seasoned employees about the factors that have contributed to their longevity in the organization. Understanding the “why” behind people staying provides insight into what can be amplified to encourage others to feel engaged and included.

Managers looking for additional support and resources should consider the low-cost Employee Experience Accelerator, a self-paced course launching October 5. Register now.

Remember, engagement is key to organizational success as well as employee satisfaction and retention, and you, as a manager, are key. According to “Harvard Business Review Guide to Motivating People author Susan David:

“Engagement is a condition in which people are enabled to bring the best of themselves to the workplace. When they can do this — when they feel seen, that they belong, that they are learning but also developing mastery — it has a profound impact on the organization, yes, but also on employees as individuals.”

I hope these new POD resources will help spark greater engagement and an enriched workplace culture. Please reach out to me if you have questions, josinag@uw.edu.