Did you know that 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged? That’s just over half the workforce! But it doesn’t have to be this way. Having low employee engagement is correctable according to HR Drive, who suggest that 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable. Developing an employee engagement strategy can help increase employee engagement and increase productivity.
So how do you go about creating a strategy? And how can you ensure that it will actually work?
The answer: Go directly to your employees and ask them.
Design a survey that will measure current engagement levels and experience. Make sure the survey collects data that is important and relevant and will help inform future decisions. Poll staff about their daily tasks, workplace environment, common issues they encounter, frustration points, work styles, desired work tools, reward preferences, etc. This will help your organization uncover the factors unique to your business that have an effect on employee engagement. Because not all companies and work environments are the same. So what works for one organization might not work for another. Surveying your employees will help your company fully understand all existing problems.
Once you’ve polled your employees, gather and compile all the data for analysis. This insight and knowledge will help you make informed decisions about what issues need to be addressed and what things need to change in order to increase employee engagement. That way you can be strategic about where you direct your energy and change efforts, and work towards adjusting factors that will effectively raise engagement levels.
Here are some things to keep in mind throughout the surveying process.
It is important to be open with your employees during this process and communicate as much as possible. Explain the reasoning behind the survey and be upfront about the end goals. Employees will be more likely to participate and give honest answers. Plus, including your employees in the process and asking for their opinions makes them feel empowered, trusted and respected. And that alone can cause an increase in engagement.
Understand Individual Preferences.
Take advantage of different mediums when creating the survey and have it available in email format, as a mobile app, or on paper to cover all employee personality types and levels of technological comfort. This not only makes employees feel accommodated but ensures they will feel comfortable participating. This is important to consider in other aspects as well, whether for employee training or for understanding employees preferred work method (individual or in groups). Not everyone learns the same. And not everyone enjoys working in groups and vice versa. Understanding how your employees learn and catering to that medium will have employees feeling taken care of.
You need to show employees that you are making a significant amount of sincere effort, or engagement levels will not change. Employees will know if you are only doing things for the show. Make sure to exhibit a willingness to delve deeper into issues. Aspire towards a company culture that is conducive to constant improvement. Demonstrate that employees are being heard and that changes are happening and will continue to happen as needed. Establish goals to work towards that are meaningful to employee’s day to day experiences and follow through with commitments.
It is worth noting here that just conducting a survey with a “one and done” mentality will not be effective in continuing to maintain high engagement levels. Data quickly becomes outdated. Surveys should be done yearly, to measure any new factors or issues, and to gauge the success of your current engagement strategy. And your organization should be ready to make adjustments and changes as needed. But there’s more. You also need to continue to support open communication and provide channels where employees can continue to discuss challenges and give feedback in real time. You don’t want employees to feel like the only time they can bring up issues, is during the yearly survey.
Share What You Have Learned
Once you gather and compile all the data from your survey, pass along what you know to leadership within the company. Share relevant information with senior managers and work directly with them to devise action plans. Set expectations and improvement goals with senior leaders for each department and encourage them to communicate any issues or plans that need to be changed. If your organization has multiple locations, pass along the information you have gathered so other branches can begin implementing an employee engagement strategy.
And share with us! If you don’t currently have a plan to increase engagement, tell us why. If you do currently have a plan in place, we would love to hear what works and what doesn’t. Or if you just have insight or opinions in general, feel free to share them!
Lastly, find out how you can boost employee engagement by building an Intranet that your employees will love.