Your employee engagement program can’t be a once-a-year activity
Most HR professionals would agree that high levels of employee engagement lead to improved performance and productivity in the office. If employees are engaged with the organizations they work for, they are more likely to take the necessary steps to increase their output.
While this proactive environment is something that most HR teams aspire to, few organizations are actually successful in keeping engagement rates at a healthy level. There are a number of reasons for this lack of involvement, but the main factor may be that a large portion of organizations adopt a simplistic, one-time model when creating programs to enhance employee engagement.
Instead of leveraging a periodic strategy that includes quarterly manager meetings or yearly recreational events, companies need to find ways to always be improving engagement. It’s continuous.
A report from Bain & Company found that utilizing a continuous model is becoming more important than ever before. They noted that as employee tenure increases, engagement levels decline, indicating that many professionals tend to become disillusioned with their work over time.
While some executives may contend that this is a normal function of the professional world, there are some serious financial consequences to such a dynamic. If your most experienced and knowledgeable professionals are not engaged, then the strongest part of an enterprise's workforce is not operating at an optimal level. This means that organizations are failing to get the most out of their best employees.
So you do an annual engagement survey. That’s great, as long as it’s the first chapter in what becomes consistent dialogue with employees about culture and career path. A recent trend has been the use of continuous “pulse” surveys – short audits administered regularly, often weekly.
HR Manager Bethany Francis, uses a continuous approach to ensure the change she’s making is having the desired impact. “As an example, our employees told us that communication was an issue,” says Francis. “We instituted a town hall series, led by our CEO, where we share high-level information about what we’ve accomplished over the past month, what we’re working on and what we’re all driving towards. Months later, we went back out to employees to measure progress.”
Knowing that, it's not hard to consider how standard engagement practices can negatively impact the bottom line for any business.
It doesn't require bank-breaking investments, either. It begins, as with most things, with conversation.
A key part of motivating your team, knowing where they are and what makes them tick, is talking to them! Make sure your communication is not limited to annual performance reviews or your annual surveys. There’s no such thing as too much communication. To be effective you need to keep your finger on the pulse of every part of the employee experience.