Companies left and right are jumping in on the employee engagement bandwagon, not only because it seems to be the trend, but because it continues to produce positive outcomes for businesses.
However, according to Gallup, only 32 percent of employees in the United States are engaged in their work, while only a measly 13 percent of employees worldwide are considered committed to what they do in the workplace. It is not surprising then that business leaders around the world are holding surveys here and there to measure and assess the level of engagement of their respective staff.
Measuring Engagement vs. Improving Engagement
The sad fact is that engagement levels across different geographical locations and industries have remained stagnant over the last ten years, even with increased awareness about the importance of having a dedicated and committed workforce.
This is due to many factors, one of which is the organizations’ inability to follow through their respective engagement programs. It is very easy to take surveys measuring the engagement of employees. However, data gathered from these surveys’ are not enough to drive results that would impact the business. Measuring engagement alone is not enough; what is more important is improving engagement. What organizations need to realize is that whatever results they get must be studied and turned into actionable results.
Creating an Engagement Action Plan
Improving employee engagement can seem like a big challenge, but it does not have to be so. With a well thought out engagement action plan, you can raise engagement levels and drive the following aspects of the business:
- Work quality
- Customer engagement and satisfaction
To come up with an action plan that will tangible results, you must bear the following tips in mind:
1. Strategy, strategy, strategy. Most management teams are very good at creating strategies for growth and development; however, they tend to be lax when it comes to engagement. You can remedy this by integrating your engagement plan with the other plans and priorities of the company. Of course, communicating your plans and strategies with your staff is of utmost importance, so make sure that they know and understand how your strategies fit with the overall strategies and priorities of the organization, and how they can contribute to the success of the business.
2. Keep everyone on track. Engagement entails long-term work. After you have established your main goals for your employee engagement action plan, ensure that your goals remain in sight by having surveys every now and then to check if everyone is still on the same page with regard to the efforts being made.
3. Don’t back down. One of the biggest challenges of implementing action plans is pushback from other leaders, especially if the plan starts showing an impact on set timelines and resources. You must be firm and remind these leaders about how they agreed to the plan in the beginning and how the success of the action plan would bring positive outcomes for the entire business. You may have to make some compromises to accommodate other leaders, but make sure that your priorities do not change.
4. Keep your eye on the prize. Your organization will encounter many different changes as you implement your action plan. Communicate to everyone that these changes are happening because you have all decided to increase your level of engagement. Always connect the changes with the attainment of your goals and remind everyone about their contributions toward that goal.
5. Continue your engagement efforts. By nature, business is dynamic; there will always be shifts in the company culture and employee productivity brought about by different factors like varying business conditions or new hires. No matter how much things change, you must continue your engagement program to make sure that it evolves with your company.
The engagement action plan is not the be all and end all of your engagement efforts; rather, it is just the first step in creating a culture of engagement that continually evolves and develops as your company grows.