For years, HR managers and employers have been searching for that elusive formula that will enable them to engage their employees better. They’ve tried new benefit packages, overhauling company culture and even supporting career development. Although, these initiatives weren’t bad, they couldn’t fix the problem of low employee engagement.
What if the answer was right in front of us all along?
Recently, Quantum Workplace released an Employee Feedback Report where they surveyed nearly 300 businesses about their employee engagement strategy and HR priorities. Only 12% of those companies considered themselves to be highly engaged. But those companies had some interesting things in common.
Here are 3 ways those unicorn companies have been able to successfully improve employee engagement.
- Have a continuous, year-round employee engagement strategy
One of the biggest differences between the engaged and disengaged organisations was the way they approached the topic of employee engagement. Nearly 78% of highly engaged companies carry out employee engagement initiatives all year round, while only 30% of disengaged ones do.
In fact, 50% of disengaged companies reported to focusing on engagement only for a short period of time, as if it’s not important rest of the year.
You can’t learn a new language unless you speak it often. Similarly, organisations can’t improve employee engagement, unless they focus on improving it everyday.
A year-round engagement strategy means monitoring and tracking performance metrics regularly. And then making little adjustments iteratively. Although it’s a more hands-on approach, it’s more effective.
- Follow up on employee surveys
Most organisations conduct employee surveys. However, they’re useful only if you do something about it, follow up diligently. And it means more than just creating a graph that shows what percent of employees feel engaged and presenting it to the C-suite.
It’s about analysing the data, identifying areas of improvement and coming up with a plan of action. Engagement Survey results will only tell you how employees feel about their job. It’s for you to figure out how to make things better. You’ll be glad to know that the extra effort is worth it. According to Quantum Workpace’s survey, if a manager follows up with employees after surveys, then they are 12 times more likely to be engaged the next year.
Also, make it a point to share your plan of action with employees. This will not only tell everyone that you’re working to solve the problem but also make them accountable about their part in the solution.
- Do away with the Annual Review
With companies like Adobe scrapping their Year Performance Review, business leaders are beginning to realise how terrible annual reviews are. But it’s the most engaged organisations that figured it out long time ago.
According to the Quantum Workplace survey, 54.6% of engaged companies ensured that their managers had a one-on-one performance conversations with their employees every 1-3 months. On the other hand, 77.8% of disengaged companies still relied on annual reviews.
If you want to enable your employees to give their best, you must tell them how they’re meeting the requirements regularly and not wait till the review process begins. This will help both you & your employee discover problems sooner and address them quickly, and that success and accomplishments are rightfully acknowledged.
Also, encourage your employees to ask for feedback whenever they need or want it, and not hesitate to ask for help or support.
If you really want to improve employee engagement, you need to be more involved in the process. It means talking to employees more, understanding & analysing their points of view, and taking actionable steps everyday to improve it in an incremental manner.
For more than 8 years, Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Intelligence, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He’s the Founder of Ubiq BI, a Business Dashboard Platform for SMBs. He’s also the editor of Fedingo blog which covers a wide range of business growth topics.