Tag Archives: Listening

Engagement Process: Ask, Listen & Engage

We are now going to talk about the Engagement Process, exploring each step in more depth.

1. Ask, Listen & Engage

Avoid the dynamic of sending down the solution from on high.  We have all been there when the “grown-ups” (aka, senior management) come back from a retreat and then spread the gospel to the “kids,” aka, the employees.  The message is that management is telling employees what to do instead of involving employees in the process.


When you ask and listen, you understand the current status, and then you can engage your employees in the process for improvement.  How do you ask and listen?


Here are just a few ways to get the dialogue started:


  • In-depth employee observation, not unlike traditional anthropological research.
  • Employee focus groups.
  • One-on-one employee interviews.
  • Company task force.
  • Companywide survey.
  • Interviews with outside stakeholders and industry observers.


What to ask?  Here are six key questions I think every company should ask its employees:


1.  What is the present level of pride in and commitment to this organization?


2.  What are the top three strengths of the organization?


3.  What are the top three areas needing improvement within the organization?


4.  What do you personally need to better contribute to the overall growth, profitability and customer satisfaction levels of the organization?


5.  If you could give one message to senior management, what would it be?


6.  What one thing would you recommend we should stop doing as a company?


Questions are the secret weapon. With this process, people feel listened to, they feel their input is valued, most importantly, it creates momentum for improvement. You will be amazed at the suggestions you receive, especially from the front line.


Out next installement on the Engagement Process will be Step 2. Develop the Focus and Strategy for Improvement.


Recruiting and Retaining the Right People!

 As I travel the world and speak with leaders, organizations continually struggle to ensure they have the right talent addressing the business issues at hand.  It is all about recruiting the right people in the right place at the right time. 


When I ask leaders what makes someone successful in their organizations, I regularly hear the following characteristics:



Notice there is very little mention of particular skills.  It is more about the attitude and personal attributes of the candidates.  So the big question is – how do you hire for these characteristics?


Without the right tools and techniques, we so often default to common recruiting errors.  We have all done it.  Any of these sound familiar?


  • Talking too much about the organization.


  • Not listening to the applicant because we’re thinking of the next question to ask.


  • Hiring someone who is just like you.


  • Hiring the person because we have to fill the position now.


  • Recruiting only for the position and not for the values that fit in the culture.


Think about your current hiring practices and recruiting techniques, and we’ll talk more about how to do this in our next blog entry. 


Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com