How are you doing on engagement? 

This post was written by Jamie Lawrence, Editor of HRZone.com.

We’ve just surveyed 578 HR managers across the UK to see what works and what doesn’t when it comes to employee engagement. Here’s the great news – four out of five smithhendersonbookorganisations are committed to improving engagement.

The other good news is that there are clear correlations between companies that display certain characteristics and how satisfied they are with their engagement efforts, which allows companies wanting to ramp up their own engagement efforts to focus on what will add the most value.

“Understanding engagement.”

Just over half (56%) of senior leaders and 40% of line managers have a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ understanding of employee engagement – organisations employing these people are twice as likely to be satisfied with the results of their engagement efforts. Having key stakeholders ‘bought in’ to engagement is very important to success.

So is having a solid strategy. Just under two-thirds (65%) of companies that have an engagement strategy in place are satisfied, compared to 53% for companies without a strategy. And if companies have a strong business case for employee engagement, the number of senior leaders with a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ understanding of engagement shoots from 60% to 84%.

“Surveys and communication.”

Lots of companies are conducting employee surveys. But the ones who do it more often tend to be more satisfied with their engagement efforts (90% for companies using an on-going system of continuous feedback, dropping to 52% for those who conduct surveys once every two years).

Post-survey communication is also important. 91% of companies using five or more channels to communicate with employees following an employee survey are satisfied with the results of their engagement programmes. This drops to 64% for three channels and 46% for one channel.

“Post-survey focus.”

Once surveys are completed and the results analysed, what do companies focus on doing? The top three areas companies focus on are improving communication, employee development and performance management, followed by career development opportunities and manager development.

“Obstacles to engagement.”

For those companies struggling to ramp up engagement efforts, what are the main barriers? There were a lot of common culprits, with the top three being lack of budget (24% of respondents), infrastructure and process constraints (23%) and buy-in from senior management (15%).

There’s a lot more in the report to help you improve and hone engagement efforts in your own organisation – please download the full report here.

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