4 Steps to Improving Staff Engagement
Engaging Staff is ‘Now’ a Key Competitive Advantage to Every Organisation.
Staff churn is not only disruptive, it incurs high business costs. Studies continue to show that an engaged workforce increases retention and drives profitability. But developing and keeping staff engaged isn’t just about providing a better work environment: it’s about improving business performance.
There is growing recognition in the business community of critical connection between staff engagement and positive business outcomes. Just like customers, staff today are empowered by technology and have ample access to real-time information. The empowered Staff wants to be ‘heard’; they want to be part of an organisation that listens to them; they want their suggestions acted upon; and they want to feel valued and recognised. This in turn leads to engagement, retention and more positive and productive work output.
Unfortunately, the methods organisations use to engage with staff don’t keep pace with its use of current technology to drive and support other business processes. Instead, they rely on the traditional annual staff survey to measure satisfaction and engagement. And that vehicle has left the barn and won’t return anytime soon, especially when considering the growing younger workforce which demands instant access using mobile-enabled devices.
Consider these stats from research reports about the often not-even-annual employee survey:
- – 70% of the staff don’t even respond, and 29% think these surveys are pointless.
- – 25% of managers deploy a survey just to meet their own MBO goals.
- – 27% of managers never even looked at the responses, and of the 52% that did review results, they did nothing about them.
- – 53% of HR professionals thought the traditional employee survey was redundant, while 69% believe future employee feedback will be more qualitative than quantitative.
- – 82% of respondents agreed that mobile technology will become the most common way in which employees voice their opinions in the future.
The annual staff engagement survey of today is simply not working. It’s time for business leaders to rethink how to engage with staff to discover how engaged they really are. Here are a few suggestions about how replace a broken, out-dated annual survey with approaches that truly engage the broadest employee participation.
Make Staff Engagement – Engaging.
Make it Mobile. Make it Interactive
The traditional annual staff questionnaires are usually cumbersome, very time-consuming to complete, long, and quite boring. They offer no interaction, and at best, will include a few open-ended questions. The latest technologies and processes used range from an interactive PDF file to an online survey like Survey Monkey. And these are not very contemporary! Employees are simply not motivated to participate.
Organisations need to incorporate technologies that their staff use on a daily basis. This increasingly means it must be available on mobile devices, and allow for a interactive, bi-directional communication between staff and management.
Continuous, Relevant Communication.
Unlike even 5-10 years past, we live in a business community made up of people who expect to have access to immediate, continuous communication. Consider the rise of text messages over the more static email message. Twitter, snap-chat, and more have all exacerbated the perceived need to be tethered to communication devices. And these practices and expectations collide with the once-a-year-touch-point of the annual survey.
The better approach is to offer a way for employees to communicate with management instantly, and continuously – 24×7, from anywhere. Business is conducted well outside of the 8-to-5 paradigm of previous years. It operates at home, in the car, on planes, and even (for better or worse) on holiday. Employees expect to be able to provide feedback when and where they are working.
A great advantage of more frequent communications is they can be shorter, and more relevant by focusing on current initiatives or news. This is much more interesting, and quicker for employees to complete. You get more, continuous feedback, and your employees have an increased voice and engagement in the entire process.
Staff Focused vs. Management Focused.
Consider the Employee
To really engage staff and get full participation means you need to ask questions about issues that concern your staff. Annual surveys are typically written from management’s perspective, geared to validate business processes. They also rely heavily scores, and often lose sight of what ostensibly is the objective – to gather employee feedback and improve engagement.
Questions that are geared towards the employee’s working environment, and that consider their current goals and needs will be much better received. Move in this direction, and you’ll increase participation, which leads to the next step: Listen and Act.
Listen and Act
If you want results from your engagement process, you can’t be one of the managers noted above who either doesn’t review the results or just ignores them. You must continually review and listen to the results – and then act upon the results. This, of course, doesn’t mean that every thought or suggestion is expected to be implemented. Instead, recognize the results, and when possible, implement changes based on the feedback in a timely manner.
The contrast to the annual survey is dramatic. You, as the management team, now have the opportunity to make positive changes throughout the year that will impact employee engagement, morale, engagement, and productivity.
Staff engagement is critical. Equally critical is the need to implement new ways to communicate with employees that utilize today’s contemporary technology and processes. And this means mobile, interactive and continuous communication. Organisations which continue to rely on the out-dated, management-oriented annual survey are missing the mark, and will likely suffer from dissatisfied employees, high turnover and missed business opportunities.
At StaffTalk365, we recognize the need for a new way of engaging and interacting with employees. Our mobile app allows management an interactive way to communicate with staff members, no matter their location, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. By providing management with real-time insight into the pulse of the organisation, you can implement changes and recognize employee excellence throughout the year.
For more information and to get a demo of StaffTalk365 please contact us at 365 01483 222469.