A couple of years ago I created a whole campaign full of free opt-ins, follow-up emails and even some video training around the whole subject of employee engagement & you know what it sucked.
OK, so it didn't suck, it just didn't quite have the same sort of flair that everything I produce now does.
It was also super complicated because I was still a newbie at the whole 'content creation thing'
I was desperate to be seen as an 'expert' and so even though I was pushing against the urge to jargon up, I still did.
I needed people to see that getting help from a psychologist is worth so much more than a trainer, coach or consultant.
But here's the thing - measuring employee engagement is, in all honesty, the easiest thing anyone can do in the world.
Yes, you could send out a survey every 6 weeks, fill out loads of charts, check to see how much time they're taking away from their desk, how likely they are to recommend you to their friends and family... blah, blah, blah...
Or you could do the much more accurate, super easy thing & just watch them for a few minutes a day.
If you want to know how engaged your employee is, you need to know how happy they are & the best way to gauge this is to simply see whether they're stomping around the office or if they're busily getting on with their work and have a relaxed posture.
Observation is a key part of therapy I can tell instantly when something I've said has triggered one of my clients.
Or if I'm doing a business workshop I purposely take more time talking about things like suicide because this gives line managers the opportunity to watch their team and look for any behavioural changes, for example, a tightness around the eyes, a slight slump to their shoulders or looking down at the table (or their lap if it's just rows of chairs).
Checklists are great, but we both know you don't need one.
Someone who is struggling with stress, depression or anxiety becomes more forgetful, they take longer to do things they've always done, often become withdrawn from their colleagues/co-workers ...
I'm going to be brutal in the next sentence but here's the truth -
If you can't tell that someone is struggling by the way they're acting then either you're not paying enough attention or you never really knew them that well.
But I'm guessing, it's the first one.
You don't need to be a psychologist to recognise when someone is struggling, you just need to actively look for signs.
Be honest with yourself, do you spend time each day just observing your employees?
Do you know what they look like when they're happy?
Do you know how they sound when they're feeling good?
I bet, you can tell instantly when a close family member is having an off day? Even if they tell you that they're fine?
You can't hide the biological and physiological signs from someone who is truly looking.
I've had clients say to me in the past 'yeah but I pretend and they can't tell' In my experience, it's simply because everyone else is so busy dealing with their own rubbish they aren't truly paying attention.
Now, before I get a bucket load of replies telling me people take their own life and no-one ever knew they were unwell that's a slightly different kettle of fish.
It's very difficult to know the difference between someone who is depressed and someone who is depressed and wanting to end their life.
& we're kinda straying off topic here a little...
I guess what I'm trying to help you realise is that if we truly know someone when they're well, we'll know when things start to take a turn for the worse.
Sometimes this will happen instinctively (much like when you walk into a room after an argument and it feels super awkward) & most of the time it will happen because you've put the time and effort into understanding them on an emotional level.
So forget checklists and just start paying attention.
& when you're ready to actively support your employees to be happy and healthy at work even when the pressure is on, click the link below to schedule a call with me:
See you tomorrow, when I'll be back delving into how mental health issues affect families.
x Katie x