When the employees within an organisation are effectively engaged, they tend to act as active influencers and ambassadors
Employee engagement is defined as a property of an employer-employee relationship. An employee who is engaged tends to be actively absorbed and enthusiastic about their roles and responsibilities, while also taken positive action towards furthering the organizational interest and brand.
What is the purpose of an employee engagement survey?
When employees are engaged, they promote the organization for its culture, value, and best practices. To gauge the levels of engagement amongst its employees' modern businesses need to conduct a company-wide survey at frequent intervals. These engagement surveys not only contain responses but also have honest replies straight from the horses' mouth that may provide nuanced information about overall receptivity towards management and its policies or the lack thereof.
Definition of Employee Engagement
It can also be termed as the emotional investment that an employee ties to a specific organization, and its mission. Engagement translates to the amount of dedication and enthusiasm that is brought in by a particular employee towards his/her job, that measures beyond a stable monetary remuneration. These employees tend to view them as critical enablers of success for the organization, that further fuels their energy to contribute more. Overall engagement tends to align, effort, satisfaction, and commitment shown by the employee.
What did Gallup find on Employee Engagement?
According to a Gallup Survey, it was found that 51% of modern employees are not actively engaged at work, while a small 17% are actively disengaged, it still only amounts to a meager 32% of employees who are actively involved.
What do you do with employee engagement survey results?
To be able to acknowledge where your organization stands, you need to effectively analyze and understand the following areas within the survey data, that will give you a broad insight into your standing — identifying questions with the lowest score- As those areas demand maximum improvement. Find those questions where engagement has declined over a while. Once you have analyzed effectively communicate the results with your people and also encourage discussion within teams. Try to raise a consensus about critical areas for improvement necessary and work together as a company to implement these decisions.
Do employee engagement surveys work?
The engagement surveys are a tool and not magic and hence like any other tool; they tend to be as effective as the person using them. However, they are bound to yield maximum positive outcome when the following best practices are followed:
- Quantifying employee engagement
- The questions are framed in a way that amplifies the voice of your people
- Are focused on an action plan that aims to increase net positive engagement
- When these survey questions point towards specific issues that are crucial towards the growth of the organization
- When the results can be recorded, compared, and analyzed.
How do you conduct an employee survey?
Before you bring about the process of conducting employee engagement surveys, get buy-in from your senior leadership. Be honest about why you are undertaking this process and what benefits it would yield to the organization. Get a positive case study on the survey efforts in a similar company that is in your same vertical or niche. Ask teams to be prepared for an organization comprehensive survey as opposed to blindsiding them. Seek the support of few people within the organization to frame the survey questions, typically a team that comprises of different demography and responsibilities. Come up with an action plan together with this cross-functional committee and send out surveys while ensuring you collect the accurate employee data. Communicate the success/failure of the entire activity with a detailed result report to the senior management.
Employee engagement strategies
While aiming for organizational engagement from your employees, it is advisable to think of a bottom up approach where you start making changes at the ground level, before culminating them into an organizational level change. Your employees must believe that you listen to them, and that should reflect on the post-survey changes implemented by your organization. Encourage the sharing of ideas between teams that may sprout a novel solution for an organization-wide problem. Understand the learning pattern of your employees and watch how they tend to pick up new skills. Use this learning to further their upskilling initiatives by providing relevant coaching and learning materials.
Why is employee engagement important?
The main reason behind engagement surveys is to track the level of engagement of the employees. Quantifying the key metrics that drive this people engagement within an organization, allows the management to evaluate whether or not its employees are appreciative of its practices and policies. However, though there is no universal metric of engagement that serves as a benchmark for engaged employees, some common factors include their position advancement, praises received within the organization, remuneration, growth of skills, responsibilities, and the organizational culture.
These surveys are imperative as they provide a channel for your people to raise a genuine concern and provide feedback. It's a seamless two-way communication channel that actively involves all collaborators, including the leadership and the employee. By actively having a stake in the planning, they also start recognizing themselves as key-enablers of success.
Once you know the results of the survey, you can now implement it to reflect significant changes within the organization based on actionable survey insights. Doing this will also allow you to probe one level deeper to understand the strength and weaknesses of every team. With these specific nuances, you can set better targets and assign informed goals.
How to improve employee-engagement?
- Improve your people engagement by helping them visualize your mission for the organization. Recruit leaders who are equally invested in the organizational mission to succeed and provide them with all the resources they need to materialize your vision. Assign the right roles to your people and their leaders so that they can bring their best into work every day.
- Align every team behind the overall organizational vision through OKRs. Nurture a culture that is agile and flexible, which operates on mutual respect, trust, and ownership of responsibility. Your people engagement directly corresponds to the degree of trust and respect that prevails within your organization.
- Assign people on the appropriate responsibilities, that are the best fit for the skillset and acumen
- Allow them to participate or come up with upskilling and reskilling initiatives that contribute to knowledge growth
- Help them understand how their work impacts the more substantial picture within the company Discuss your plans, progress, and problems often, to assist them in overcoming any impediments or roadblocks. Managers who trust their employees have an open discussion with their teams regarding their active engagement, and also discuss recourse to drive positive engagement further.
Benefits of employee engagement
Research shows that when your employees are actively engaged in their work, they not only tend to perform drastically better, but the pleasure derived out of completing the deliverables also drastically increases. When your people are enjoying their work, they tend to bring in a high level of personal investment into their work, and this vested interest also inspires mutual collaboration, ownership and commitment to the task at hand. The most engaged employees are key-players within any organization, as they tend to be champions of ideal performance and work etiquette.
Engaged People who are engaged are also the ones that are the top of your employee performance curve. It is often seen that these highly motivated individuals do not shy away from digging a little farther to reach their assigned objectives. This attribute is also directly correlated with attendance and intrinsic motivation to succeed. By having more high-performers around, they tend to act as the right kind of motivation to fellow teammates and collaborators, this infuses a sense of community spirit within the company and also increases the overall productivity. A KornFerry Research points out that business revenue is as high as 4.5 times in companies that have engaged employees, over those that do not.
Nurturing top performers is one of the easiest ways to succeed in modern businesses. Modern businesses now need to put people at the heart of their business success. Engaged performers tend to stay longer and more loyal to the company, as opposed to those who are not engaged. Engaged employees also display an ownership attitude as opposed to that of a contributor. These individuals believe that they are merely increasing their stake in the profitability fo the company, as opposed to disengaged contributors who want to complete as little work as possible within the allotted time. Engagement also improves the brand value of the employer in the eyes of the employee, and the current A players tend to act as magnets for other A-players to join the organization and thrive.
When there is deep engagement with the organizational mission, there also tends to be more novel and original ideas towards improving performance and performance of systems. An engagement culture not only helps their employees be more invested but also drives innovation in optimizing all the systems and process. These people tend to be high-performing individuals, who bring a lot of zeal into their everyday contribution and tend to leave their work with a subtle mark of their unique identity. When collaborators start acting as owners, they tend to start tweaking things by being more creative and create valuable products and services. The spirit of innovation also goes hand in hand with communal collaboration and a healthy exchange of ideas. Honest feedback also improves the viability of these solutions, which may one day lead to fruition.
Employee engagement has a direct correlation with organizational growth, both in terms of performance and revenue threshold. When these high-performing individuals are at their peak productivity, it brings a net positive effect on the companies bottom line while also negating losses that arise due to inefficiency. Companies with highly engaged workforce tend to generate significantly more revenue per employee as opposed to the ones who don't. The economy of peak performance is high to modern business in terms of revenue and profitability.
Employee engagement is one aspect of continuous performance that contains 6 other such modules, which together help modern leaders mentor, manage and align their employee performance on the go.