Over the years, employee engagement has proven its success in multiple facets of business operations. According to a Gallup poll, engaged employees are 21% more productive than their less engaged counterparts, 42% are more likely to produce a better quality product or service, and 37% are less likely to call in sick or be absent from work.
When you commit to improving employee engagement, you make considerable strides in fostering a positive work environment for both workers and customers. This, in turn, helps eliminate employee churn and makes the overall experience for customers a more pleasant one – positively impacting revenue and overall satisfaction.
To put it simply, happy employees equal happy customers.
In this article to demonstrate the importance of employee engagement, we’re taking a deeper look into what it is, some traditional and modern engagement methods, and the top ways to build a durable strategy for your business.
Employee Engagement Defined.
Employee engagement is the eagerness an employee has towards their job and their dedication to the company. In most cases, the level of engagement can “influence behavior and level of effort in work related activities”
Commonly, employee engagement is used as a form of measurement between a business and its employees to determine both quantitatively and qualitatively, the reasons for employee churn, motivation, and changes in workplace culture.
The Issue With Traditional Surveys.
Although employee engagement has long been a critical component of business success, the way in which it is measured and maintained has changed greatly. Today it’s all about immediacy and in-the-moment action. The sooner you address and resolve employee issues, the greater the engagement and overall satisfaction.
When it comes to traditional employee engagement surveys or employee feedback solutions, staying on top of the trend curve can be difficult. In most instances, traditional solutions rely on paper-based surveys or provide businesses with data long after the feedback is relevant. This can make it challenging for businesses to recover negative employee experiences and identify problem areas within their business that could be affecting employee morale, turnover, and customer satisfaction.
What’s more, with traditional surveys the employee engagement data is usually unsegmented or too lengthy to comb through. Imagine sending a survey to an enterprise with over 5,000 employees. Without any segmentation, it can be next to impossible to understand and can cost you more in the future to break down and analyze.
Qualities To Look For In A Proper Employee Engagement Solution
In any instance, an employee engagement survey solution shouldn’t be an obstacle to achieve peak business performance. In fact, it should be an easy uplift with a substantial reward. Here, we explore what to look for in an ideal solution and how it can help you succeed in employee engagement.
Access to Real-Time Data
When looking for an employee engagement survey solution, look for one that notifies you about feedback immediately. For employees, the sooner you take action and acknowledge their feelings, the more it’ll resonate with them and the more satisfied they’ll be with your efforts. As any person who puts hard work into something, employees want to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their contributions. Doing so in real-time is just an added way to keep your efforts at the top of their mind.
An Omni-Channel Offering
A great way to get employees engaged and optimize the number of responses is by offering an employee engagement survey on their preferred channel. If they’re using a specific channel frequently, like your internal web portal or messaging service, sending the survey on that channel will increase the likelihood of a response. When evaluating solution providers, keep an eye out for one that offers omni-channel capabilities – more importantly, one that has channels that align with your employee’s preferences.
Options For Personalization
Another great quality to be on the lookout for is personalization. For employees, just like customers, one size does not fit all when it comes to engagement. Solely asking them to “rate their experience” and thanking them for their time, isn’t engaging enough. Including their name in the message associated with the survey or mentioning their specific department will make the message more personable. What’s more, catering the questions to their specific duties and switching up the types of questions asked, like multiple choice and long-form, can help garner more responses.
When looking for a survey solution, keep an eye out for ones that allow you to make personal adjustments instead of set templates.
Analytics and Reporting
One of the most important parts of an employee engagement solution are the analytics and reporting offerings. Using this data, your business can make more strategic decisions and predict future growth. When selecting a solution, instead of choosing one that purely provides employee responses, look for one that can measure sentiment, identify trends, create heat maps, and more. In addition, your solution should have automation capabilities, escalating any feedback that is “negative” so managers can address any critical issues in-the-moment.
Steps To Implement Employee Engagement
Once you’ve selected an employee engagement provider that has ticked off all of your requirements, it’s time to implement your program. Here we outline the three-step process to get your program off on the right foot and ensure future success.
Understand Current Employee Sentiment
Before you can begin making changes to your business model or altering operations, it’s important that you understand your employee’s current sentiment. In some cases, only minor changes are needed, in others, a complete overhaul may be required.
In order to get accurate insight, we suggest sending out a preliminary survey to all employees, of all rankings and all departments. Having this initial survey will give you a general sense of employee sentiment in addition to pinpointing specific areas of improvement, which is essential for building future initiatives. Things like gauging whether you need daily or weekly monitoring, the departments you may need to survey more often, the specific moments that should be monitored more frequently like onboarding or exiting stages, and so on.
With an ideal solution, you should be able to get a general survey sent out on the employees preferred channel, and then have it analyzed every step of the way.
Acknowledge and Take Action
After you’ve gathered the current sentiment of your employees, it’s time to start sending out regular performance-based surveys, acknowledge the feedback gathered, and start taking action where necessary.
For employees, providing feedback is a big step, they’re going out of their way to tell you how they feel about the establishment and areas you can improve to get more from them. The more you showcase that you’re listening, the more accepting and reasonable your employees will be.
Make sure when you’re reviewing your surveys, to identify common trends in employee feedback such as recurring issues, consistent employees praising or complaining, and how performance adjusts after you’ve implemented change. Remember, showing you care about their thoughts is the first step towards creating a phenomenal culture and an elevated experience.
Once you’ve listened to employees, acknowledged them and implemented change, it’s time to consistently measure. This is a critical part of the employee engagement process because it’s how you can ensure a successful future. In a highly competitive landscape, trends are always changing, employees constantly join and leave, and practice/policies are always altering. Measuring is a tactic that can help you stay on top of trends, adjust your program in-the-moment, and create a strategy that is built for success.
Employee engagement when implemented correctly can have profound effects on many aspects of a business. From improving operations to creating more satisfied customers, listening to employees through feedback surveys and taking action can help reduce costly churn and improve overall workplace culture.