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1 Jumpstart:HR jumpstarthr.com twitter.com/jumpstarthr Employee Engagement Employee Engagement Strategies Urvashi Singh 12

2 (This manual includes employee engagement strategies, types of employees, an overview of work/life balance initiatives, employee opinion surveys and rewards and recognition programs) What is Employee Engagement? Employee Engagement is a business management concept. An "engaged employee" is one who is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work and thus will act in a way that furthers their company s interests. According to Scarlett Surveys, "Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work". For several years now, 'employee engagement' has been a hot topic in corporate circles. It's a buzz phrase that has captured the attention of workplace observers and HR managers. According to reports published by The Conference Board, there are eight key drivers to Employee Engagement: Trust and integrity how well managers communicate and 'walk the talk'. Nature of the job Is it mentally stimulating day-to-day? Line of sight between employee performance and company performance Does the employee understand how their work contributes to the company's performance? Pride about the company How much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with their company?

3 Career Growth opportunities Are there future opportunities for growth? Pride about the company How much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with their company? Coworkers/team members significantly influence one's level of engagement Employee development Is the company making an effort to develop the employee's skills? Relationship with manager Does the employee value his or her relationship with his or her manager? The concept of employee engagement was first developed in response to increasing globalization. Such global competition forced businesses to become more flexible in responding to employee needs. More recently, the rising interest in employee engagement was attributed to the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, and the 9/11 tragedy in 2001, causing the economy to dip, and the subsequent rise in unemployment. A new generation of workers entered the workforce with a desire for long-term employer relationships on their own terms. This new group is shaking up the workforce and demanding more from their employer than simply financial compensation for their work and ability to be on-call at all times thanks to communication technologies. As the economy changes and employee demands become more specific, employee engagement provides an opportunity to increase productivity and in turn profitability while satisfying employee needs. Quick Facts

4 Engaged employees perform 20% better than non-engaged employees (Gallup Management Group) Offices with engaged employees are 43% more productive (The Hay Group) Employees with the highest percentage of engaged employees, on average, increase operating margins 3.64% and net profit margins by 2.06% (Towers Perrin_ISR, June 2007) Organizations with the lowest percentage of engaged employees showed declines of 2% in operating margins and 1.38% in profit margins (Towers Perrin_ISR, June 2007). Why are some employees so devoted while others seem to have checked out? This is a question the Accenture Institute for High Performance sought to answer in What Executives Really Need to Know About Employee Engagement, a study published in June Accenture surveyed 1,367 employees at various large, U.S.-based organizations to define four levels of engagement: Devoted workers are the most engaged employees, those who put their heart and soul into their work each day and strive for continuous improvement. Plugged in employees are usually, but not always, willing to go the extra mile to do their jobs well; they tend to contribute consistently and accomplish goals. Those who fall into the cruise control category might show up for work but put forth their full effort only occasionally.

5 Lastly, employees who are checked out do just what s needed to get by. By delving deeper into what it takes to drive and sustain engagement, Accenture discovered a marked difference among the responses they received from workers at each of the four levels of engagement. For example, more than 95 percent of devoted workers said they are always willing to go the extra mile, are enthusiastic about providing high quality products and services and are determined to complete all job duties, whereas only about half of plugged in employees said the same. Regardless of how devoted such highly engaged workers might seem to be, Accenture found that more than 43 percent "had weak, or at best lukewarm, intentions to stay with their company." Figuring out how to retain them is the tricky part."financial rewards are important, but they're not what matter most when it comes to holding onto employees, and they certainly aren't what engages them," the report explains. Instead, Accenture found that employees must hold three core beliefs about their employment for sustained engagement: I'm making a difference. My company has my back. We're in this together. What are some key reasons for disengagement? There are no career enhancement prospects I do not get along with my co-workers I am on a Contract that ends in 0-12 Months Poor corporate social responsibility

6 Lack of Job Security Personal Reasons My Manager and I have a poor relationship Unreasonable pressure and demands The job has a poor work / life balance The culture is not very supportive or friendly Lack of communication\co-operation with Management I can get a better pay elsewhere I am bored with my job I am not rewarded or recognized for my efforts What are some strategies to keep employees engaged and motivated? Communicate, communicate, communicate. Especially during unsettled times, leaders must communicate more frequently with their employees about: The present and future vision of the organization How the company plans to reach this new strategic direction How the organization will redefine itself to sustain revenues during the downturn The rationale behind any restructuring How each employee's roles and responsibilities add to the organization's success Employees appreciate being "in the know" and will contribute to improvements and

7 future success. Once they understand the reasoning behind decisions, fears are alleviated and their energy is channeled into helping the organization reach its goals. Provide training. Training is the new 401(k)! It will ensure employees' productivity particularly, if they have assumed new responsibilities due to restructuring. Continuous learning is one of the best employee motivators. Investing in employees helps increase employee engagement and commitment to the organization. Leadership training is also important. Many managers have never had to lead under challenging circumstances and need proper guidance on how to coach, motivate and reward their employees, particularly during a period of change. Leaders must engage and empower employees to stay focused and develop innovative solutions. Organizations, such as IBM, are engaging their new employees with a comprehensive on boarding program that goes well beyond a new employee s first 90 days. In early 2010, IBM launched a two-year on boarding effort called The program comprises four phases (Discover IBM, Share and Connect, Grow My Career, and Find Support) and uses technology-based opportunities, such as live virtual classes and online communities, to build strong relationships between the company s employees. To ensure employees desire for better training is aligned with HR professionals concern for such training. Organizations must implement several best practices to assure their employees are well-trained, engaged, and ultimately satisfied with their organization s training program, such as:

8 Assign a peer mentor to work with new employees during their first 90 days on the job. Develop a comprehensive training plan for each employee that is specific to his/her role. Training that is too general will not enable new hires to succeed in their positions. Identify a small number of educational opportunities (e.g., conferences, trade shows, networking events, etc.) that employees can attend to build relationships and get acquainted with their organization s industry. Hold regular professional development seminars so employees can learn new skills and allow them to recommend future topics. Use a training needs assessment to solicit employees feedback on the effectiveness of new and old training initiatives and make adjustments accordingly. Ask for qualitative and quantitative feedback from new employees at the 90-day mark through a survey or interview to get a benchmark of the organization s onboarding program. Mentor. Mentoring can be valuable for employees seeking a "sounding board" for challenges they may be facing. You can support mentoring internally or encourage employees to join outside groups. Mentoring: Consider what it isn't: Ladder-climbing, elitist, protection/sponsorship, management cloning. Consider what it is: A developmental, caring, sharing, and helping relationship in which one person invests time, know-how, and effort to enhance another person's growth, knowledge, and skills. In

9 the mentoring relationship, the mentor contributes to critical needs in ways that prepare the individual for greater productivity or achievement in the future. What a Mentor Contributes: Technical knowledge. Character influence/modeling. Knowledge of how to get things done in an organization. Understanding of other people and other viewpoints. Insight into cultural differences. Development of values. Questions for Mentors: What am I good at? What special experience have I had? When have people asked for my help? What things do I see that other people need to be aware of? What would I enjoy helping someone with the most? Ask questions and listen to answers. Employees want to see their organization succeed. Working on the front lines, they have first-hand knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Many have excellent ideas, ranging from money saving to operational improvements and streamlining processes. Leaders must take time to ask and listen to suggestions not only to make employees feel valued but for the sake of their businesses.

10 Asking questions can help develop critical innovative thinking and a call to action across the organization. --What are the present strengths of the organization that need to be preserved? --What areas does the organization need to improve upon? --What is one thing this organization needs to stop doing? --What do you personally need to improve your efficiency and effectiveness? Employee feedback can be obtained through surveys conducted by HR Personnel. For HR Personnel: Things to consider when designing an Employee Opinion Survey: Define objective: Why are we considering this? Consider survey environment: What is the employee climate? Select the appropriate survey design Confirm administrative procedures: Participants, logistics, etc. Communication:"Be Honest" Ensuring employee participation: there are five critical elements to ensure employee participation. Getting support and commitment from the top Designing a good survey Motivating respondents Dispelling fears Removing barriers

11 Information to Include for HR Personnel: Introduction: Identification of yourself and/or your sponsor Purpose/objective: How results will be used Anonymity or disclosure of responses Potential benefit of the survey Potential risks, if any Instructions: Estimated time to complete survey Engage employees in solving business issues. Once new ideas are identified, engage a cross- functional team to develop solutions. Individuals focused on business success use their energies to focus on improvements vs. worrying about restructuring. The following questions will develop some real solutions: --What is the present state of affairs for the business issue they're trying to resolve? --What is the ideal state of our company? --What processes should the organization engage in to achieve the desired results? --What is the estimated time frame? --What are the costs? Recognize effort, praise employees and value individual contributions. Leaders must ensure that employees understand how their individual efforts contribute to the organization s overall strategy and direction. People want to be part of a winning

12 team. Employees will take pride and be engaged in their work if they understand how their efforts impact the organization. Whenever employees take on additional responsibilities, It is important for managers to recognize these increased efforts with a simple "thank you" or "great job." These meaningful words acknowledge effort, build loyalty and encourage people to work even harder. Recognition programs are a sometimes-underutilized tool that can help organizations engage and retain workers, experts say. Such programs should be linked meaningfully to an organization s strategy for best results. Nearly six out of 10 HR professionals say top management fails to make recognition a priority, and only 38 percent say top managers are very involved in employee recognition and lead by example. These are some of the findings of an online survey of more than 1,000 HR professionals from U.S. organizations, released Dec. 9, 2009, by HR.com and Terryberry Co., an employee recognition program provider. These survey results reinforce what we ve been hearing from the marketplace, said Mike Byam, managing partner of Terryberry, in a statement. Businesses can t afford to have key employees leave or become disengaged. It s more important than ever for leaders to give recognition in a way that connects employees with the organization s goals and objectives. Though the first reaction of many companies faced with budget concerns is to cut back, freeze salaries and scrutinize benefits, an organization found that a number of clients who initially cut back on their employee recognition programs quickly realized that there is

13 internal bad press when recognition is scaled back and took steps to reverse their decisions. That may explain why Terryberry found that one in three businesses will be expanding existing employee recognition programs in 2010 and 17 percent will be implementing an employee recognition program for the first time. However, experts say such programs must align with organizational goals to be effective. When cash for tangible rewards is limited, it is recommended that employers focus on: Appreciating people for their individual talents, skills and diversity of thought. Creating an atmosphere that fosters good relationships at all levels. Really listening to what employees have to say. Recognizing accomplishments with timely recognition even if it s only a thank you. Outlining clear performance expectations. Celebrating successes as they occur. Sharing ownership for goals and achievements. Case studies of restructured recognition programs at Scotia bank, Delta Airlines and MGM Grand demonstrated that recognition programs: Must include multiple award forms to satisfy different worker needs Need not be costly and, in fact, may have no real monetary value Are effective when the recognition is of value to the individual worker, and is awarded for behaviors linked to specific job performance goals.

14 When executed properly, strategic recognition holds the power to increase motivation, enhance engagement levels and drive bottom-line results through improved productivity levels. How do I know if my organization's Employee Initiatives are working? Well, to be sure your employee initiatives are working; there are several things you should look at. One is turnover, or the rate of turnover. That could be compared to industry standards or your own company history. Another is absenteeism, on the job accidents and injuries. There is a lot of information you can look at related to risk management. Productivity measurements, such as output, quality of work, even work process improvement. There is also customer feedback and, as always, there is employee feedback. Whether it's qualitative or quantitative it is really important to listen to employees and hear what they have to say. Creating a positive employee engagement climate, or what author Robert Rosen calls a "healthy company," can be measured through a number of ways, including: turnover absenteeism on-the-job accidents/injuries grievances and discrimination cases productivity measurements (output, quality, work process improvements) customer feedback employee feedback (qualitative and quantitative)

15 What are some work-life balanced initiatives to boost Employee Engagement? Many organizations have programs that will provide health care professionals on site. They will have a nurse or even a physician in the building or on campus, as part of their health care plan. The nice thing about that is the employee can make an appointment and see that healthcare professional during work hours. Another example is some of the large consulting firms listened to their employees and found their travel schedules were greatly impacting their family quality of life. They were often leaving on a Sunday and not returning until Friday night. A number of the large consulting firms have mandated that their employees don't have to leave until Monday morning, and they have to be home by Thursday night. In that rare case that they must stay over the weekend, they will often offer to fly their spouse out to meet them. Often companies are also looking to help their employees stay fit and they will pay for their membership at a health club or pay upto a certain amount for in home fitness equipment. Other initiatives relate to child or elder care. The organization may contribute to the program, provide referrals, or contract out for the service. Many companies such as Google have concierge services, such as dry cleaning, on-site banking, or discount ticketing. Work/life balance initiatives are as varied as an organization's culture.

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