CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 26

The trick, of course, is figuring out

as a leader gets easier, because you'll

how to engage employees. A much-

know how to reward him or her in a

used statistic is that, at maximum,

way that engages and motivates.

only about 30% of a company's
employees consider themselves
engaged at work (I've seen numbers
ranging from 20% to 40%, depending
on the industry). So if I can take that
30% of engaged workers and make
it 40%, I'm going to be better than
all my competitors. And if I can take
that 30% and make it 60%? Well then
I'll be screamin' down the road with
much better products, at lower cost,
and with a customer satisfaction
rating that goes through the roof.

Some employees appreciate
gift cards and feel like valued
contributors when they receive one.
Others aren't interested in financial
rewards whatsoever and instead find
motivation in personal interactions,
new career opportunities, or extra
time off. I always try to express
my thanks to anybody who does
something well. For some, that simple
acknowledgement is enough of a
motivator. Others feel valued when
thanked, but not engaged. As a leader,

I'm working toward this at Rockwell

it's my responsibility to listen and


hear what employees want. I've found

As a company, we conduct an annual
employee survey that includes about
a half dozen questions related to

that when you take the time and put
in the effort, the answers become
clear fairly quickly.

engagement. That's great to get the

Obviously I can't go to that level

data that shows how people feel,

of personalized attention with

but my personal feeling is that we

each of the 440 employees in

as a management team need to be

my organization. So I start with

doing more than looking at the data

my directors and champion the

we collect. I want to be doing things

engagement ideal with them. I meet

close to the employee, watching

with my leadership team, which

their responses, and using that as a

comprises seven direct reports

measurement of engagement. To me,

plus two remote CTOs, once a

employee engagement and quality

week as a group and in one on

are of the same ilk - that is, you can't

ones during which we talk not only

always measure either, but you can

about professional projects but also

sure tell when you don't have it.

anything pertinent on a personal

I don't have any expertise or advice


on how to engage employees that you

My expectation is that these leaders

can't find in any number of leadership

use the same approach with their

guides, but I absolutely do know that

direct reports, and so on down the

you have to take the time to figure

line. And I'm happy to hear when

out what motivates an employee on a

managers take the initiative to

personal level. If you find out what's

recognize employees' efforts. For

important to an individual, your job

example, I loved that one manager

CTO Straight Talk | 26

If you find out
what's important to an
individual, your job as
a leader gets easier,
because you'll know
how to reward him
or her in a way that
engages and motivates.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2


CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2