According to a recent Aberdeen Group report fewer than 23% of organisations that were surveyed have a defined, organisation-wide employee engagement strategy in place, despite the fact that employee engagement is at an all time low.
The link between employee engagement and productivity has been firmly established but many organisations have struggled to align their employee needs and desires with organisational goals as the economic downturn has bitten. The focus on productivity and profitability has pushed employee engagement down the strategic ladder. According to reports, the numbers of employees who have said they are looking to change jobs over the next 12 months is rising sharply and this will impact employee costs and could mean organisations lose their best talent. A robust employee engagement strategy will help attract and retain the best people and make the most of every opportunity to improve productivity and meet organisational objectives for growth.
Unsurprisingly, when asked what the key elements of employee engagement were, these elements came out top in the report and are what best in breed organisations focus on when it comes to engagement:
- Employee recognition
- The cultural values of an organisation
- Relationship and interaction with direct managers
- Work-life balance
And what strategies work for successful organisations according to the report?
Great communication. Communication needs to be frequent, consistent and two-way. Organisations must be happy to receive communications and feedback from employees, stakeholders, leavers and job candidates.
Rewards and Recognition Programmes. By demonstrating appreciation for employee contributions and rewarding positive behaviours, individuals will feel motivated to stay with employers and feel motivated to perform.
Process & Technology. It is important to have processes in place that enable organisations to gauge the success, or not, of their employee engagement strategies. In order to get senior buy-in, which can be challenging, the gains must be measurable. Technology can help both implement and measure engagement strategy and its effects on the organisation. In best of breed organisations technology goes beyond the usual employee survey and can include solutions that measure productivity as well as talent management solutions and employee self-service portals.
The low state of morale and engagement among UK employees was highlighted in a recent report, The Forgotten Workforce, commissioned by Kronos which was carried out to explore employee attitudes, across a variety of industries, to existing workforce management practices, and identify how companies need to focus their attention to engage their front line staff in a way that maximises productivity and business agility without undermining job satisfaction.
Download the Aberdeen Report here: http://aberdeen.com/Aberdeen-Library/8648/RB-employee-engagement-strategies.aspx?camp=EXTR
Download The Forgotten Workforce Study here: http://www.kronos.co.uk/research/forgotten-workforce-survey-uk.aspx