But many companies don’t do it
How many people go to the doctor, have a check-up, identify a problem and then do nothing about it? Very few you might say. Now, how many companies conduct an employee engagement survey, identify a number of issues and then do nothing about them? The answer is about 90% – most companies don’t act on the feedback from their surveys.
Is that because action is inherently difficult? Surely not! Post-survey action done properly is a simple process. It’s about managers and team leaders asking 5 questions:
- Why are your team members disengaged in a particular area? Ask them to help you to understand what’s causing their concern.
- What can you can do to improve their engagement in a particular area? This is a great opportunity to get to know your team and coach them. People have ideas. Give them the opportunity to talk. You may find untapped creativity in your team.
- How? – Once your team have helped you uncover what can be done, ask them how to go about it. Not all the ideas will be great, but there may be some real gems.
- When? – Many of the things that come out of engagement surveys are behavioural, so raising the level of engagement may be about changing behaviour in some way – the way the team does things or perhaps your own management style. If that’s the case action can start right away and it need not get in the way of the team’s daily work.
- Who is to be responsible for making sure change happens? Some things will be down to the team leader but more often than not delegating responsibility will deliver the best results. Remember, engagement can’t be imposed. It’s a bottom up process.
So, no magic bullets, just good, old-fashioned dialogue to help understand people and engage them.
Of course managers may need support and guidance in getting the most out of their dialogues, and as a company you will need a structure for monitoring progress, sustaining momentum, and championing best practice. With these in place there’s every chance you’ll start raising engagement.engage them.
If not you’re missing an important trick
If you’re like many other companies, you live and breathe a whole range of business performance metrics and you conduct employee surveys which provide a substantial volume of people data.
The million dollar question is do you link the two and uncover those attitudes and behaviours that have a tangible impact on critical metrics like customer satisfaction, sales and profitability?
For some of your competitors linkage analysis is already providing vital insights that are driving performance improvement. For others it remains a challenge shrouded in statistical mist.
Where do you fit in? Would linkage analysis work for you? If so you’ll have the prospect of a powerful evidence-based case to win buy-in and support future HR initiatives.
If you have any experience, stories or thoughts we would be delighted to hear them….
Does there come a point where engagement is bound to fail?
I was recently asked an interesting question – Does there come a point in an organisation’s engagement journey where engagement gets too high (a tipping point) after which employees become complacent and begin to develop a don’t care attitude towards their organisation?
Rather than answer directly I thought I’d post it on the Engage For Success Guru website and see what the experts thought. Below is a summary of the feedback.
The first suggestion from several people was that the question reflects a faulty understanding / definition of engagement since contribution and commitment to the organisation are both key elements of engagement.
However, three circumstances were cited in which both of these may be undermined. The first is “blowout” – too much emphasis on outcomes and discretionary effort at the expense of wellbeing. The second is a loss of “edge” – too much focus on the developing, supporting and enabling aspects of engagement at the expense of a challenging results culture which could be a turn-off for high achievers. The third is growth – the evolution of an SME into a larger organisation, for example, may lead to a change in management style (either deliberately or inadvertently) which disengages employees.
Overall though, the general feeling was that complacency and a don’t care attitude towards the organisation are not consistent with a culture that engages people – a culture which, on the one hand is about persuading people to give of their best, to go the extra mile; and on the other is about creating an environment and a way of managing people which motivates them, supports them, recognises and rewards them. If managers are to avoid the tipping point described, they need to understand that and identify what engages and disengages the individuals they employ.
If you are interested in contributing to the original LinkedIn conversation click here.