Organizations today understand that having a more productive and engaged workforce creates competitive advantage in an increasingly challenging business environment.
The focus has evolved from understanding the concept of employee engagement to developing effective employee engagement practices that can drive change across the organization. Perfecting the different pieces of the puzzle is what differentiates Best Employers from the general market.
While employers have embraced the idea of employee engagement, their strategy for improvement has been heavily influenced by the annual employee survey: ask the same questions once a year, look at the responses, and hope for the best when the next survey cycle rolls around.
Progressive organizations are moving past the monotonous, unchanging annual survey and embracing the flexible, adaptable model of Continuous Listening; the process of gathering feedback more broadly across the employee lifecycle, at much more frequent intervals through the use of new technology. Continuous Listening represents for them the next stage of understanding the employee experience and helps them get the most out of their employees.
“Continuous Listening, The Evolution of Employee Experience Measurement”, Aon Hewitt, February 2017, by Ken Oehler and Don MacPherson
Sharing results and progress updates play a key role in driving the employee engagement agenda as well as commitment to the development and implementation of action plans. Ask yourself:
Is there an articulated employee engagement communication strategy?
Are results communicated in person or written format? Are leaders encouraging dialogue instead of one way communication of study results?
Has an employee engagement champion network been developed to supplement the communication efforts across the organization?
Once actions have been taken, are employees regularly updated on the progress?
Are success stories recognized and shared?
A robust communication strategy and implementation plan is imperative to ensure that different stakeholders are aligned and working together to drive a high performance culture.
Data Analytics & Linkage Analysis
Leaders and managers are 30% more likely to act on employee engagement if they have seen its correlation to business performance. Unfortunately though, capability and access to reliable, time relevant KPI datasets create barriers for many HR professionals, and hence only few progressive organizations have attempted to link employee engagement to financial performance.
Aon Hewitt experience with organizations that have access to reliable KPI datasets demonstrates clear linkages between employee engagement levels and business performance - these organizations are definitely able to drive the pre-requisite management behaviors.
The very act of surveying employees raises expectations of change initiatives that will improve the status quo. When no action is taken, disappointment prevails and leadership is thrust into an unfavorable light; however, when results are effectively communicated, leaders and managers are encouraged to take action. Ask yourself:
Is there a documented approach for the development of action plans across the organization?
Are people managers and senior leaders held accountable for the implementation of action plans? Is the improvement of employee engagement incorporated as a KPI for people managers and senior leaders?
Is the HR function playing a catalyst role by providing action planning training to people managers and engagement champions?