Would you believe—a successful employee engagement action plan results in converting your employees into brand advocates?
Employee engagement in today's dynamic world has evolved as a key factor of corporate growth. High levels of employee engagement assure their growth, promote their job satisfaction, and boost corporate success and stakeholders’ profitability. The higher the level of employee engagement, the better the outcomes at work. It makes the employees go an extra mile for their organization—doing what they were supposed to do. This is the reason why many companies invest millions of dollars to achieve employee engagement and utilize hundreds of sophisticated techniques to increase it—but all goes in vain. Have you ever wondered why? The global employee engagement statistics will shock you to the core. The percentage of global employee engagement is as slim as 15% while in the US— it is only 35%. Most of the time organizations assume employee engagement to be synonymous with better employee experience or employee satisfaction. While employee engagement has nothing to do with that—making it highly crucial to know what actually it is!
“Engaged employees are the lifeblood of every successful business”
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Defining Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is the employee's emotional commitment to working, the organization, and its goals. A highly engaged employee is thriven to bring extraordinary outcomes by taking initiative and putting in outstanding efforts. The motivation of a highly engaged employee is not a piece of paper with some thousand dollars. Something that drives them is the sense of fulfillment that they get from their experiences at the workplace that is channeled by the culture of an organization.
William Kahn, the father of Employee Engagement; conceptualizes employee engagement by concluding that for an employee to feel engaged at work, they need to be respected, trusted, and valued—physically, cognitively, and emotionally.
In today’s world, it is critical to increasing the engagement of global teams in organizations due to multiple factors—including workforce diversity, working from home, and the ever-changing global dynamics. In order to increase the level of employee engagement, managers must watchfully design the engagement initiatives. Steve Elliott, Franchise Owner adds Restoration1 says “A highly effective employee engagement action plan is required to deliver the purpose and keep the employee engaged with work.”
Effective Ways to Creating an Employee Engagement Action Plan
An Employee Engagement Action Plan allows you to trace out the bottlenecks that are hindering your way to achieving high employee engagement. It identifies key engagement drivers that help you bring the required changes to create the most impact. It also lets you make everyone responsible for the outcomes of your employee engagement initiatives.
Follow the below-stated framework to create an effective employee engagement action plan!
1. Evaluate the Outcomes of the Employee Engagement Survey
Once you’ve gathered the real-time feedback from the employees—it’s time to evaluate your workforce. Utilize the survey data to know what they expect and how they feel working. Or if anything that is worrying them and aspects they think the organization should look into. This data would let you comprehend your employees and their wants and disclose many untold stories about your organization said “Antoine Boquen, CEO and co-founder of Horizons”. Dig down to identify what drives employee engagement while making sure that your employees are heard on the matters they care about the most. You can also capture feedback throughout the whole lifecycle of employees for better insight.
Managers must analyze the results with their teams. If engagement scores are lower than expected, don’t worry. The aim of a survey is to help the organization perform better. It allows you to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your organization and recognize the areas for improvement. Just keep your focus on the employee feedback you received, instead of scores. Look for the reasons for low scores by reading between the lines. You would surely find comments identifying the causes of low-scored metrics. In other words, use the feedback on the employee engagement survey as a roadmap to improve the organization as expected by the employees.
Lachlan de Crespigny, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Revelo says “Once you’re done examining the employee survey data, you are all good to start your employee engagement strategies.” Just like, if the data discloses that the managers or peers are not recognized enough—plan an appreciation and peer recognition program. Ensure being consistent in your contributions and find means to fix the prevailing issue.
2. Select the Key Area to Focus
Once you’ve finalized your analysis, it’s time to choose where you must channel your efforts to improve employee engagement. Evaluate the data as a team and take out the key focus areas to discover further. “These areas will be your focus zones for brainstorming result-oriented takeaways” says Abdul Saboor from The Stock Dork.
Take a start with two to three key areas. Prioritize one focus area based on the level of influence that the driver will have.
A few points to ponder:
What are our lowest scoring zones?
Which outcomes could we improve using simple changes?
What key areas have a greater risk for work engagement?
How much investment do they need to improve them?
Can multiple areas be improved at the same time?
3. Brainstorm Solutions
Afterward, make focus groups and allocate each potential area of improvement that you’ve discovered. These focus groups must work in collaboration to converse about what may be affecting the score for each item. Together they must highlight prospective challenges in resolving those issues and finally brainstorm their solutions. Mark Valderrama, Owner of Aquarium Store Depot suggests “Brainstorming is the most important step in creating a successful employee engagement action plan since a score—on a survey question—can tell you more about the situation than words.” Taking your team together to talk about what’s happening in the organization surely helps you exert your efforts more effectually.
These focus group discussions must be observed religiously—pertaining to the motive behind them. They must not be treated as any casual meeting of teams because it is going to impact your organization in the long run. Take your time finding ways to allow a creative and open discussion. It will assist the teams in challenging assumptions and integrating the diversity of opinions through which you can reframe the difficulties into opportunities.
4. Drill Down the Hidden Insights using Smart Analytics
You can also use smart approaches to identify the key areas for improvement and reveal major themes and trends. Jake Cowans, Founder, and CCO of CompanyScouts says “You can rely on technical assistance like Betterworks Engage to get an understanding of the employee experience using sophisticated and configurable visualizations.” He added “It will enable you to examine survey, pulse, and poll data.” This application of AI and machine learning can be used to study the responses of employees. You can also benchmark yourself by comparing your data to the answers from employees across a number of industries.
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5. It’s Time to Take Action
Jason Lauritsen, Leadership trainer and Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture Expert addresses “Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement”. He is of the view that the employees are motivated by being cared for, esteemed, and relied upon at work. The way their managers treat them is highly decisive in determining the level of employee engagement.
Also, we need to keep in mind the employee compensation and paid incentives. In order to increase employee engagement, create paid incentives that can keep them engaged in work. You can leverage digital banking for easier payouts. Employees will be more productive and output-oriented if you create paid incentives for them.
Now that you’ve recognized your top solutions, it’s time to define your employee engagement action plan. This is a decisive step because you need to make the team members accountable in order to observe a lasting impact on engagement. According to Alex Savy, Co-Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Comfynorth “The commitment must be crystal clear and accountability must be open to prevent all these efforts from fizzling away over the course of time.” As you outline your action plan, be sure to contain the following documentation:
Specific actions you are committing to
Who is responsible for what?
Deadlines and due dates
How success will be measured?
Progress Report Timeline
You can also utilize the goal-setting technique SMART while outlining your action plan:
Specific. The objectives must be clear and specific.
Measurable. The objectives have to be measurable to determine if our goal is met or not.
Achievable. The available resources must be capable of achieving the goal.
Realistic. All goals should be achievable.
Placed in a time. The objectives should be framed in a certain time period.
By clearly outlining the steps of the action plan and determining who is accountable for the results, you can make sure your plan doesn't go unsuccessful.
6.Share the Outcomes
And last but not least underestimate sharing your progress! Make the result of the surveys public because it is extremely powerful to keep the entire organization committed. Martin Lassen, founder and CEO of Grammarhow, says, “You can also ensure the continuity of progress by conducting pulse surveys on a periodic basis.” It will help you determine how their engagement has progressed and how well your managers are implementing the Action Plan.
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It is an established fact that employee engagement determines the success of an organization. Engaging the global team of employees is a real-time challenge that the organizations may transform into their strength and this is where a successful employee engagement action plan comes in. Take it up today and skyrocket the growth of your organization with the power of employee engagement!
Kruti Shah is a content writer and marketer at The Marketing Drama. She loves to write about insights on current trends in Technology, Business and Marketing. In her free time, she loves baking and watching Netflix. You can connect with her on Linkedin.
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