6 Signs You Need a Better Employee Engagement Strategy

man with thumbs down for a Better Employee Engagement Strategy

Smart Leaders Want a Better Employee Engagement Strategy
Many organizations suffer what we call an “Engagement Funk.”  Surveying employees can be like a relationship in which you’ve moved way past infatuation. The honeymoon phase is long gone.

And by now, you’re that old married couple, going through the motions, getting bored and trying to decide whether to cut ties or spice things up with something new.

Six Signs You Need a Better Employee Engagement Strategy
Before you throw in the towel and call employee engagement a lost cause, let us try to help you get out of your employee engagement funk.  Use the checklist below to see if your engagement program needs rejuvenation:

  1. We’ve surveyed our employees for the last 3+ years.
  2. Leadership and manager support is waning.
  3. Results have become stagnant.
  4. Following the survey, nothing really happens.
  5. We keep surveying, but see declining ratings.
  6. Employees are starting to doubt the process.

What To Do If You Checked Two or More of the Above Items
Regardless of whether you are a beginner at engagement or are already implementing advanced engagement practices, we guarantee to provide some new ideas that will inspire you to revitalize your engagement efforts.  Listening to the voices of your employees and leveraging their insight to make positive change is NEVER a lost cause.

First, Put Other Business Outcomes Into the Equation
While many organizations measure employee engagement, few analyze the impact it has on their business objectives.  Are you able to quantify how engagement impacts your business?  Can your leadership team draw the line from engagement to key business outcomes?  Do your managers and employees understand how engagement affects their ability to meet their goals?

Understanding exactly how engagement affects your bottom line and key strategic priorities can revive interest and commitment to your engagement strategy. Done right, it should also provide new insights that help propel your organization forward.

Second, Start Identifying Outcomes Your Organization Values
What drives your organization? Sales, customer satisfaction, innovation? You’ll want to pick outcomes your leaders and employees value because these are motivators.  In other words, if they can see a positive link between engagement and the business outcome that they value, they will have more motivation to commit to your engagement strategy.

You can tie engagement to a variety of metrics, tracked at a location, department, or employee level.  Here are a few examples: Turnover, Sales, Customer Satisfaction, Workplace Safety,  Financial or Operating Performance, Health Outcomes, Absenteeism, R&D Spend, Bonuses, and Product Quality.  Think through the metrics your organization is already tracking and the data you can already access. Are there any industry-specific metrics you should include?

How To Try The Information Together
After you’ve selected the key metrics important to your business, now comes the challenging part to create a better employee engagement strategy. Many organizations struggle with tying this information together to find meaningful connections. After conducting an analysis on the relationships between these metrics and employee engagement, share the results with your internal and external stakeholders.

When you can demonstrate engagement’s effect on other organizational outcomes, your managers, leaders, and shareholders will have more reason to make engagement a priority and share excitement over developing new ideas to create an awesome workplace.

How Five Organizations Tied Engagement to Business Outcomes

  1. Net Promoter Score and Engagement

University of Phoenix, a client with 30,000 faculty members, 112 campuses, and more than 300,000 students, analyzed the correlation between engaged employees and higher satisfaction among students. The study analyzed the university’s engagement survey results among student advisers and the NPS results among the students assigned to those advisers.

The analysis discovered that when advisers scored highly on two engagement survey items tied to manager effectiveness, students assigned to those advisers were more likely to recommend the university.

This study illustrates the impact employee engagement can have on student satisfaction. With this knowledge, the HR team is better equipped to gain buy-in from leadership and managers when it comes to making positive organizational change.

employee-engagement-graph-1

  1. Patient Health and Engagement

A large regional health system was having difficulty getting employees to buy into the employee engagement as a strategy and business objective. As a result, engagement survey results were stagnant.

To help employees see the value, the institution provided data about patient falls and the number of cases of infectious diseases being spread among patients. When linking it to trends in employee engagement, the results were telling. When employees were more engaged, the numbers of falls and disease cases were fewer.

The organization built a presentation to show to its various hospitals, and it had a profound impact on employees’ attitudes. The employees were emotionally attached to their patients, so by connecting engagement to what motivates their employees, the organization was able to get past stagnancy and see real organizational change.

employee-engagement-graph-2

  1. Engagement Impacts Revenues and Participation

Since focusing on engagement at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, CEO Michael Johnson has increased the number of engaged employees by 407 percent. As a result, the nonprofit has seen positive outcomes in two other critical areas: revenue and participation.

Over the course of three years, the organization doubled its revenues and went from serving 1,800 kids to serving nearly 3,000.

These findings provide evidence to Michael’s board of directors and donors to Boys and Girls Club that the time spent on improving the workplace experience also drives other important business objectives.

emp eng 3

  1. Engagement and Turnover

A large business services company in the oil and gas industry with 132 branches and nearly 4,500 employees wanted to better understand the relationship between its employee engagement and turnover. Branches were divided into four groups based on level of turnover: no turnover, low turnover, high turnover, and highest turnover.

Here are a few of the findings:

  • The “no turnover” group had a much higher survey response rate of 83.5 percent, compared to the entire company’s response rate of 45.5 percent.
  • The “no turnover” group had a significantly higher level of engagement. As a comparison, 58 percent of the employees from the branches in the “no turnover” group were fully engaged versus only 36 percent of employees at the other branches.
  • The average difference between the “no turnover” group and all others in favorable ratings across all engagement survey categories was 11 percent. Trust in senior leaders exhibited the largest gap.
  • Of the ten engagement survey items exhibiting the biggest gaps, five were key engagement drivers.

For this company, employee engagement survey results can now be a predictive indicator of turnover and help leadership understand why turnover is higher at some branches than others. With these insights, the leadership team has a better employee engagement strategy and knows where to strategically place its efforts to improve turnover at its various locations.

emp eng 4

  1. Wellness and Engagement

A client in the educational services industry with 4,000 employees wanted a better understanding about how employee engagement affects employee health. One example question from that study examined how often employees felt stressed.

Disagreement with two engagement survey items showed a strong correlation to greater stress. The two survey items were:

emp eng 5

The Bottom Line
Let these examples inspire you to take a fresh look at creating a better employee engagement strategy.  When you link engagement with key business outcomes, your engagement strategy gains value and meaning and has a positive impact on the business and the people.

To learn more about a better employee engagement strategy, download The Top 6 Forces Driving Employee Engagement and Strategies to Move the Engagement Needle

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LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

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