Increase employee engagement with the Flywheel of People Success
Learn about the 4 steps that can help your increase employee engagement and get the Flywheel of People Success spinning.
Imagine a company would check the sales numbers only once a year. How would they know if their business was moving in the right direction?
The answer is: they wouldn't.
Still, this is actually how many organisations have treated one of the most important business KPIs: employee engagement.
The benefits of employee engagement
The benefits of employee engagement and engaged teams are clear. Research shows that high engagement can yield up to 21% greater productivity, 59% less employee turnover, and a reduction of absenteeism by 41%.
In fact, increasing employee engagement can many times be the quickest and most efficient way to reduce costs associated with employee turnover and low productivity, and to increase profitability through happier customers, more healthy employees, increased innovation, and improved employee retention.
What gets measured gets managed
You're probably familiar with the old adage that what gets measured gets managed. This is why it's so crucial to have a robust system in place for measuring employee engagement, regularly and often.
Organisations that measure engagement only once a year simply don't know if the business is sustainable. They don't know if top talent is at risk of leaving, if people perform at their best or if their workforce is merely operating at the minimum required level.
This is even more concerning, as research shows that the majority of employees are actually not engaged in their work. Globally, only 20% of employees are engaged at work. This shows that there are many miserable and most probably unproductive employees. This also represents an enormous opportunity for the organisations that succeed in turning these numbers around.
The Flywheel Of People Success
Fortunately, things are changing. More and more companies are now implementing pulse surveys to be able to track and understand the employee experience in real-time. This allows for a proactive and agile approach.
At Eletive, we talk a lot about the "Flywheel of People Success". It represents a modern and agile approach to culture, that we consider to be the key to building highly engaged teams and organisations.
1. Listen to all employees in the organisation
The first step to increasing employee engagement and improving the employee experience is to listen to each employee – regularly and in a structured way. Regular pulse surveys on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis allow feedback to be collected efficiently, reliably and anonymously in real time. You might want to use different frequencies for different parts of the organization.
Ideally, surveys will include a standardized question battery, open-ended questions, the option to leave comments and chat anonymously. The standardized questions where respondents rate the accuracy of statements on a scale provide a quantitative measure that allows you to see trends and benchmark results. Open-ended questions and comments add a qualitative aspect, where employees can write more in-depth answers to explain their experience.
2. Understand the employee feedback
The next important step is to make sense of the feedback data. You'll both want to see trends and visualize the current state of your organization in an easy-to-understand way to give all stakeholders a good overview. This will help you prioritize the areas where the need is most urgent. You'll want to identify what is working well, understand where there are improvement needs, and track the impact of your initiatives.
With larger and more complex data sets, analysing employee feedback becomes increasingly complex. Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning are helpful tools for understanding the feedback data, so that the people team can focus on the next important step: taking action.
3. Act in an agile and data-driven way
Taking action is the crucial step that some organisations are unfortunately missing. Collecting employee feedback will not increase engagement if you don't act on the results. Connecting initiatives investments to the feedback you receive, and tracking the impact of initiatives over time, is what will help you build a happy and healthy workplace.
It's important to involve both managers and employees in this work. Employee engagement needs to be viewed as a business issue rather than an HR issue, and shared accountability within the organisation is a success factor.
4. Perform better and build a workplace where people thrive
The three first steps are crucial, as they are what gets the flywheel spinning. But for your organisation to enjoy the full benefits of high employee engagement, these steps should be connected to your company's overall performance. The objective should be to connect employee engagement metrics and HR investments to performance and impacts at every level of the organisation. This will allow you to build a high-performing culture of engagement and self-leadership, where everyone works together to keep the Flywheel of People Success spinning.
Recommended reading: How intelligent employee engagement surveys can improve your people strategy