Sure, the annual employment engagement survey gives a snapshot into employee morale and satisfaction at one particular moment in time. But does it really define what your business needs over the course of 12 months? Because individual needs, attitudes, workloads and pressures change throughout the year.
The answer to this question was one of the most hotly debated themes at SAP SuccessFactor’s HR without Clichés Workshop recently.
Let’s be frank, the purpose of improving employee engagement is not just to create a happy and more engaged workforce. There’s a business goal too, which is to deliver increased productivity and revenue, while achieving a healthy turnover of employees.
The stakes are high in our digital world.
Today, business moves faster and companies consistently need new ideas from employees to remain competitive. This means boosting engagement needs to be higher on the agenda than ever before.
Why? The most engaged employees understand the value they bring into the organisation and this leads to better ideas and decisions. After all, a happy workforce is an efficient workforce.
But if we don’t measure engagement often enough or measure the right metrics throughout the year, then engagement surveys will become another pointless set of data. The result is businesses are missing out on insights enabling them to motivate employees to be more productive.
It’s time to revamp the old annual engagement score model. It is no longer enough for businesses to survey employees once a year. Engagement scores need to be a regular occurrence in business, and encouragingly, the technology is already there to help, making it a painless and seamless process for all involved.
We also need to overhaul what we mean by “engagement”—from a static definition to a measure that means different things between businesses. Setting a benchmark for engagement that impacts business priorities is key to having it put on the company agenda.
This means defining what engagement looks like within individual organisations, by looking at how it impacts the business and why it is important. By clearly articulating what engagement looks like and why we need it, we can begin to measure it accurately.
I personally believe business objectives need to be tied to individual objectives if we’re to understand the true value of engagement. This way, we can check in with individuals throughout the year and seeing how their keeping on track – measuring their level of engagement through goals.
At the end of the day, it’s mission critical to improve employee engagement. Because to get the best out of your business, you need to get the best out of your people first.
For more on HR strategies that get results, see Can We Measure The Employee Experience?