How Agility and Engagement work Together

Sicora Consulting has worked with hundreds of organizations and teams on various employee engagement models for decades. In the fall of 2016 we decided to hit the pause button to see if there was a better way to offer a more balanced engagement model that employees could take greater action on. So, we did a factor analysis study looking at the hundreds of statements and surveys we collected from work with these groups. As a result, we created the 8 Factors of Engagement (8FE), an employee-led balanced approach to employee engagement.

Over the course of 2017, organizations and teams across the US and parts of the world started to utilize the 8FE as a baseline measure of engagement for the programs we were conducting with them (i.e. team effectiveness, leadership development, trust building, and cultural transformation). The 8FE proved to be a phenomenal tool for them as they have already seen significant improvement and transformable results in many aspects of their organization.

Excited about the improvement we measured, we concluded 2017 with a series of Thought Leadership Sessions on the topic of engagement as a way of reflecting on our year, and what we can do to improve and meet the needs of the market in 2018 and beyond. We found many interesting points that we plan to share in future blog posts – including some fascinating discussions we had with a few groups of Millennials.

We also conducted a comparative analysis with Gallup’s Q12 and the twenty-four statements from the 8FE (3 statements per factor) to see how balanced this well-known survey is, here is what we found:

  • Gallup’s Q12 mapped all three statements to this Factor:
    • Development
  • Gallup’s Q12 mapped two of three statements to these Factors:
    • Accountability
    • Purpose
    • Recognition
  • Gallup’s Q12 mapped only one of three statements to these Factors:
    • Care
    • Trust
    • Resources
  • Gallup’s Q12 did not map to any of the statements for this Factor:
    • Agility

At Sicora Consulting, we feel that to be fully engaged there needs to be agile, flexible and adaptive in a changing world. To be ridged and resistant to change suggests disengagement. Here are the three statements used to measure Agility:

  • I feel encouraged to find new and better ways of doing things
  • My team adapts quickly to change
  • My organization creates new and challenging work assignments

Employees are more engaged when they feel that they have the flexibility to decide how to act in situations that arise. It is important for leaders to empower their employees and display trust in their instincts, encouraging your employees to use their creativity to find the best possible solution. I appreciate what GreatPlacetToWork contributor, Hannah Elise Jones, says when she speaks to agility, “Truly great organizations with high levels of ability to innovate and stay agile in rapidly changing times are those that not only have growth minded leaders, at the helm, but throughout the organization.” It is equally as crucial for employees to exercise agility as it is for leaders in order for the organization to run smoothly in the midst of change.

That being said, as organizations move forward rapidly while continuing to adjust to the situation, it’s important to stay true to yourself and your company’s values in times of great change. As Jake Appelman (Principal, FMI Center for Strategic Leadership) states, “Agility needs to be wrapped around an understanding of who you are as an organization.” If we have a true understanding of who we are as an organization and we’re agile as we adjust to things we’ll maintain alignment to who we are.

Though the Gallup Q12 didn’t incorporate Agility into its engagement model, we cannot stress enough how critical Agility is to employee engagement. In a constantly changing world, it has become crucial to embrace change in the workplace in order for people to stay motivated, engaged, and innovative.

If you’d like to learn more about creating a culture of continuous engagement that empowers your staff to take the lead with engagement, and what it means to take a balanced approach to engagement that includes agility, contact Sicora Consulting to learn more.