The Gesundheit Test

The Gesundheit Test

By Vitiello Communications Group

While touring college campuses with my 16-year-old daughter, I inadvertently uncovered the perfect test to finding out if a community is engaged.

We were attending an Open House and had just finished up an informative tour of the academic buildings. As we headed over to the dorms, my husband sneezed. Nothing unusual, right? Except for the fact that three students, who were walking in the opposite direction, stopped to say, “Gesundheit!”

We joked about it at the time, but my daughter viewed this small act as a symbol of the high level of engagement we experienced on this particular campus. She said that the welcoming environment set this school apart from some of the others we had visited. She decided that this is the type of environment that would make her happy and motivate her to succeed in college. Thanks to a sneeze, engagement is up there with SAT requirements, academic offerings and location as key criteria my daughter will now use to pick a college.

Her experience is no different than that of a customer or a new recruit who interacts with your employees for the first time. Authors Bob Rosner and Allan Halcrow describe an equally simple test you can use to determine the level of employee engagement in your organization. In their book, “The Boss’s Survival Guide,” they call it the Pronoun Test. Rosner and Halcrow write, “Just listen to your people talk about the company. Do they use us and we or they and them? If you overhear key staffers using they or them, you need to reconnect with them ASAP.”

Whether you use the Pronoun Test or the Gesundheit Test, it’s important to assess the level of engagement at your company. Once you find out, don’t be afraid to ask employees what it would take to keep them engaged. Doing so will help you attract new talent to work for your company and build long-lasting relationships with customers.

Employee engagement is nothing to sneeze at if you want your business to succeed. What are you doing to determine how engaged your employees are? Leave a comment to let us know.

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