Employee engagement drives business results. But what drives engagement? Managers move towards employee engagement when they make sure each team member knows how what they do impacts the organization’s overall goals of the organization. Savvy managers won’t skip this critical step. Unfortunately, most leaders never take the time to have this critical conversation with their people. The following tips will help leaders hold this critical, context setting conversation:

  • Start with the organization’s strategic plan. A leader who wants to help the employee understand the context of their job needs to start by having a clear understanding of that context his or herself. To understand the context, the leaders should review the strategic plan, and identify key areas where the employee’s work impacts the overall business success.
  • Consider the employee’s impact within the organization. How does the person’s job impact key business processes? The manager should consider how the person’s role helps others within the organization to achieve  their goals.
  • Talk to the employee about the big picture. When the manager finally sits down with the employee to have the context setting conversation, he or she should talk, not only about the impact of the tactical tasks of the day-to-day job, but the overall impact of the role. For instance, if the employee is a receptionist, he or she needs to know that they are the “face” of the organization. They need to realize the importance of the first impression they set.
  • Remind the employee of their importance periodically. That first context setting conversation is critical, but it is not enough by itself. It is imperative that the manager bring up employee’s context from time to time. Have things changed in the organization? Make sure the employee knows how the changes impact the context of their role. Has the employee really excelled in a certain area? He or she needs to know how important their achievement is in the overall organization.

Leaders sometimes overlook the importance of having a context setting conversation with their team members. Employee’s who know how important their job is in the overall success of the organization are typically  more engaged with those who don’t.