​Employee Engagement and Professional Scrum – Part 3 of 5

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series ​Employee Engagement and Professional Scrum

In this post we will cover questions 4-6 of the Gallup Q12 Engagement Survey, and how they can be addressed through Professional Scrum.

Question 4: In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.

This question from the Gallup Q12 engagement survey is one that many managers struggle with. I will tie this back to Professional Scrum in a moment, but first, a general tip for anyone looking to improve their team’s scores on this question: Not everyone likes to be praised in the same way. A common mistake I see companies make is being far too ham-fisted in their attempts to improve in the “praise” area. Some folks love being praised publicly. Others would cringe at the idea of being called out at a Town Hall meeting. If you are a manger, the key here is to really know your people. You need to understand how they would like to be praised. Don’t assume they want to be praised in the same way as you.

Now, how does Professional Scrum play into the “Praise” question? Well, notice that the question does not say anything about where the praise is coming from. Like many of the Q12 questions, it does not specify that this is referring to praise from a manager or other superior. Scrum fosters and requires a high level of collaboration within the Scrum Team, and with that closeness comes many opportunities to recognize team members. More formally, many teams will set aside time during each Sprint Retrospective to offer kudos to team members. A Professional Scrum Master will also take note of the above, and find ways for team members to recognize each other in a way that will be appreciated by the receiver.

Question 5: My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

Again, note the “…or someone at work…” qualifier here. Scrum is a framework that is built around the Agile Manifesto. In that manifesto, you will find that the very first value mentioned is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” This is no coincidence. People are at the center of everything we do in Professional Scrum.

One of the Scrum Values is the value of “Respect.” Caring for your teammates is part of the DNA of Professional Scrum.

Question 6: There is someone at work who encourages my development.

Someone.” Do you see the theme here? This encouragement does not need to come solely from a manager or supervisor. While we strive to build teams that will offer this kind of support and encouragement to each other, often (and especially with newer teams), the Scrum Master will take an active role in encouraging the development of the members of the Scrum Team. Some examples I’ve seen from Professional Scrum Masters:

  • Facilitate a weekly group learning session
  • Helping Scrum Team members effectively communicate their career goals with their direct manager
  • For Scrum Masters who also have a technical background, coaching and mentoring Scrum Team members on new technical practices

So that’s questions 4-6 of the Gallup Q12 survey. Hopefully by now you are starting to see the connection between Professional Scrum, and employee engagement! Next time, we will take a look at the next three questions from the survey:

  • At work, my opinions seem to count
  • The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important
  • My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work

If you are interested in improving engagement on your own team or at your own company, feel free to comment or reach out!

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