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5 Employee Engagement Lessons From 9 Focus Groups

After having recently completed 9 focus groups as part of an employee survey project, 5 lessons stood out.

For some, reading these lessons will deliver new insights. For others, they’ll be refreshing reminders of what we’ve long known that frustrates employees and what they value.

1. While pay is important, employees have less comp frustration when they're

shown respect, receive genuine recognition, and have work schedules that accommodate their personal lives.

2. Overtime hours are valued by many as a way to earn more. For others, they want a life outside of work and OT creates burnout. Plus they don’t appreciate being surprised on Friday that they have to work OT on the weekend.

3. People closest to the work, who do it daily, are often the best ones to know how to improve efficiencies. Not asking for their input or worse yet, asking but ignoring it, is a surefire way to make sure employees do only what’s expected and nothing more.

4. Employees trust and have more respect for senior leaders who show genuine interest in getting to know them and listening to what they care about. Employees care more about getting to know the leader when the leader cares more about getting to know them first.

5. Enterprise-deployed software, which because of its limitations or lack of training, makes work more difficult and creates the need for workarounds is very frustrating.

Questions to Consider

  1. Which of these lessons do you value most that might spur you to take action?

  2. How many processes in your organization have been improved based on employee input?

  3. Who on your leadership team excels at and invests time in getting to know their employees?


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