Next Steps After Measuring Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement Surveys
Today, HR teams are taking up the initiative to set up employee engagement surveys in their organisations. They are carefully analysing who is engaged by department, location, job description, and other factors. There is no surprise here as this is said to affect the overall performance of work performance. However, it shouldn’t end there.
The survey is just the first step in a long-term process in supporting engagement because measuring engagement is not the same as actually engaging the employee. Employee engagement measurements are the process of scoring. Engaging employees are the actions you take as a result of the scoring. Several results stem from an overall engaged employee, but ultimately, research links employee engagement directly to productivity. A 2009 study by the University of Iowa and Gallup revealed an 18% drop in productivity among most and least engaged employees. (careermetics.com)
To determine what an engaged employee needs, focus on the lasting effects on your business. They can solve problems, eager to learn, embrace change and even believe in the organisation’s mission. You will find that they form positive relationships with customers, peers and managers.
Research shows that a fundamental skill underlying these employee engagement surveys is resilience. Resilient salespeople bounce back from 20 rejections to make the big sale. Resilient customer care reps deal with frustrated or angry callers with empathy and patience. Resilient product managers persevere through setbacks and continue to innovate. Resilient executives inspire confidence and perform with excellence despite the constant pressures of leadership.
A resilient workforce is more adaptable and agile in the face of change. Recruiters can advertise resilience training as part of the company’s total rewards package. For individual employees, resilience confers the sense of security needed to take risks, which is a vital sign of engagement.
Research surveys over time can determine which practices are increasing engagement. For example, are more employees able to solve problems on their initiative? Do empathy for customers, vendors, and colleagues increase? In what departments, locations or job functions do people feel most connected to the mission, and where do they feel frustrated or unable to make a difference? Where are employees growing in both skills and resilience, and what effect does that have on job performance? Detailed longitudinal data like this builds a permanent and strengthening culture of engagement.
The science is incontrovertible: more than training, aptitude, loyalty—it’s resilience that helps people engage and perform. Resilience skills give employees a sense of agency, effectiveness, mission, and purpose. With resilience added as a core competency of the workforce, you’ll see next year’s engagement score headed in the right direction.