Employee Engagement = The Employee Experience? Probably More Than You Know

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Employee EngagementThere has been much written, spoken, and touted about Employee Engagement. But what is it and why is it important?

Employee engagement is hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. Sort of like positive energy. You walk into an office, restaurant, or any place of business and you just feel it. You can’t put your finger on exactly why you are smiling, but it has something to do with the people in the room. They aren’t complaining, gossiping, or ignoring you. They are ENGAGED in what they are doing and they are INTERESTED in you.

More specifically, it is the emotional connection that an employee has to the organization that causes the employee to want to put forth whatever it takes to make the company and their department succeed.

What does it take to bring about employee engagement? First, you need to understand that you cannot make your employees engaged through a reward system, training program, or mandate. It isn’t extrinsic — it’s intrinsic.  They need to feel passion for the organization and a sense of worth about what they do.

Unfortunately, only 58% of employees worldwide feel engaged according to Aon Hewitt’s 2012 Trends in Global Engagement Report where they surveyed 9.7 million employees in 3,100 organizations.

But how do you measure its effect on your organization and what can you do to help it along? We recommend a four-step process for measurement and improvement:

  1. Measure your current level of employee engagement.  Our model consists of two components: employee loyalty and contribution.  Our research indicates that factors in these two areas are the best indicator of productivity potential and continued employment.
  2. Based on the data, communicate the organization’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities. This is best done in small groups.  Letting employees know about the struggles and victories within the company, makes them feel part of the family. Make it clear that the input you’ve received has been heard.
  3. Collaborate to build meaningful action plans. Your action plan should focus on the most important areas for improvement, not just the easiest.  Show your employees that you’re committed to positive change, and be sure to communicate when problem areas cannot be immediately addressed.  Even if your employees are dissatisfied with a particular aspect of their job, the risk of this escalating can be mitigated by acknowledging the issue and explaining the company’s strategy for addressing it.
  4. Be accountable and ACT!  Your efforts to improve engagement may be wasted if you do not take visible action on your plans.   Be sure to share successes and policy changes with all employees, and remind them that these changes are a result of their input.  It is often helpful to develop KPI’s to measure progress towards improvements and share these freely within the organization.

These four steps are the foundation of Infosurv’s Strategic Success Platform.  Our Employee Engagement Survey tool evaluates the factors that affect your employees’ ability to meet your customer’s needs. We identify ways you can adapt your business to create a culture of engaged employees. We also know that engaged employees deliver better customer service, so we can run customer satisfaction surveys at the same time to create a tangible link between the two. Give us a call today at 888.262.3186 to learn more about our service offerings!

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Christian Wright

Christian Wright is the VP of Client Services at Infosurv. With a master’s in marketing research, he’s equipped to design actionable research that yields impactful insights and drives change.