Being honest to ourselves, how many of us have stuck on to our resolutions and achieved them fully? Maybe it works for the first few weeks of the year but sadly fades away eventually. If one actually gives some thought as to why this happens, it may be because most of our resolutions involve a drastic change from our prevailing lifestyle and requires a lot of effort and can become tiresome after a while. We try to become healthy by suddenly changing our entire diet, start working out, try out new activities and what not. Well this is all good, but all this change in one day can be a lot to take in, after all I doubt your body knows that you have entered a new year and you want to change in one day.
At an organisational context the same scenario is bound to take place. With new goals for the New Year, everyone comes up with new strategies to follow and changes that need to take place.
Employee engagement has been on top of the HR resolutions list every single year undoubtedly. It’s not something new that we have not heard of as research on engagement supports what most of us already know intuitively: employees are more engaged when employers value their contributions and communicate that value in specific, visible ways. Then how come it never gets ticked off the list? How about we start of simple.
If higher workforce engagement is one of your objectives for 2019, then you need an intentional strategy with specific, actionable goals. Because engagement is the natural outflow of employee experience, why not something small to begin with by making your engagement strategy center on creating a culture of RESPECT:
Hence keeping these 7 dimensions in mind let’s trying creating the HR New Year’s resolutions list that would get your employee engagement finally ticked off the list.
Resolution #1: Rethink your engagement strategy. The first step towards any positive change is to have a plan. Start by reassessing what engagement should look like in your organisation, aligning your engagement goals with your business objectives and designing strategic employee experiences that reward desirable performance behaviors. Correlate each action item in your program with specific business objectives and identify key metrics (such as retention, turnover and productivity) to measure their business impact.
Resolution #2: Establish a survey process to measure employee perceptions. Engagement surveys offer a proven way to measure employee engagement and create actionable insights you can use to improve workforce culture and experience. An effective survey process can help you pinpoint organisational strengths and weaknesses, identify root causes of employee perceptions and give you a benchmark for holding managers accountable to implement change.
Resolution #3: Follow-up on employee feedback. It’s not enough to conduct the survey. The real value lies in following up with strategic action. If, however, improving employee engagement is not a priority for your organisation and there is a small likelihood of acting on the results, it might be better to forego the survey altogether. Engagement can suffer when employees provide feedback and then see no action taken as a result of their input.
Resolution #4: Design (or redesign) a strategic employee recognition program. Recognition is one of the key dimensions that contribute to workforce engagement. In fact, 1 of 4 employees say that lack of “recognition, appreciation or respect” is the primary reason they would consider leaving an employer. Effective recognition programs reinforce desirable employee behaviors in areas like productivity, customer service, quality control, safety and wellness. The program should reward achievements, share accomplishments across the organisation and make employees feel appreciated by both peers and managers.
Resolution #5: Rethink your candidate experience. Being treated with dignity and respect during the hiring process is the number 1 reason employees accept a job offer. Engagement efforts create impact long before the hire, beginning with strategic actions like creating a straightforward application process, communicating frequently with candidates, recognising their efforts during the recruitment process, keeping them informed during candidate selection, and making a great first impression with a welcome gift delivered home. If engagement begins on day one, it’s too late!
Resolution #6: Consider remote work opportunities. Remote workers are more engaged than average workers overall. That shouldn’t be surprising, given that 50% of millennials want more flexibility in their work. Employees who work remotely at least one day a week are more likely to agree that their managers recognise them for doing good work, treat them with dignity and respect and show concern for their wellbeing.
Resolution #7: Invest in manager training and mentoring. Effective engagement programs depend on managers. Managers are responsible for communicating consistently, providing regular performance feedback, building relationships and implementing recognition programs. If your managers aren’t onboard, you’ll struggle to move the needle on experience and engagement. Consider implementing manager training programs to help managers support their team members and promote positive experiences on the job. Better yet, pair your most engaging managers with new managers and those needing skills development for 1-1 mentoring. And don’t forget to recognise managers for their hard work – because managers need recognition, too!