One Hot Topic You Need to Know About: Employee Engagement

Posted by Cathy Reilly

bigstock-Employee-Motivation-Concept-An-95505395When it comes to cultivating an effective, long-lasting  team of productive employees, engagement is one of the most important factors hiring managers need to consider. But, with only 30 percent of American workers feeling engaged in the office, according to Gallup daily tracking polls, it’s harder than ever to keep employees inspired.

In 2015, HR professionals are being forced to take a more active role in creating and cultivating employee engagement programs. In a recently published infographic titled Employee Engagement Is Being Disrupted, George Laroque, CEO of Laroque Inc., covers some of the employee engagement challenges HR professionals are facing and how they’re being addressed.

Here are three highlights Laroque covers that we feel all HR pros should know about and how they address engagement challenges in your office:

1. Annual programs aren’t cutting it anymore.

If you’re really looking to understand engagement in your office, an annual engagement survey isn’t going to give you the complete picture, because your employees’ moods change throughout the year.

One week they’re completely engaged in an exciting project, and the next week, they’re slogging through a less than stellar assignment. If you rely on an annual engagement survey to measure this, you’re not going to be able to capture the engagement highs, lows, and everything in-between. Sure, you can ask employees to think about it and summarize how engaged they felt over the course of the year, but you’re not going to get an accurate accounting.

The same goes for employee performance reviews.

Recent research shows that half of employees think annual performance reviews are of little value. Who can blame them? When you cram a year’s worth of performance into a 30-60 minute meeting, it’s hard to provide any real value to your employees. If employees don’t get regular feedback from the top-down, they’re less engaged from the bottom-up.

The moral of the story is assessing engagement and providing performance feedback once a year is a thing of the past. [click to tweet] Not only do you -- and your employees -- miss out on the big picture, but you miss out on opportunities to make proactive changes that can help your organization succeed.

2. Real-time measurements are driving results.

So, if annual surveys are on the way out, what’s replacing them?

Real-time Engagement Initiatives:  Pulse surveys are slowly -- a little too slowly -- replacing annual engagement surveys in organizations that care about real-time employee engagement measurements. With mobile integration and strong analytics potential, pulse surveys provide you with a continuous feedback loop.

When distributed on a weekly basis, these short, anonymous, focused surveys can help you spot trends in employee engagement and proactively address the issues that are affecting your employees.

Real-time Performance Management: Real-time performance management initiatives help you communicate with your employees about their performance on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for a year to hear what they’re doing right -- and wrong -- employees get immediate feedback on a project or presentation so they can make the adjustments they need to succeed.

The key with real-time performance management initiatives is creating a two-way system that allows managers and employees to communicate about performance as it relates to individual, departmental and company goals.

3. Engagement has to start before Day One...and beyond

Engagement isn’t restricted to current employees. By sharing online videos that highlight company culture and engaging candidates in discussions online, you can spark a future employee’s engagement before they’re ever part of the team. That way, when they walk in the door on Day One, they’re already excited about getting to work.

Speaking of Day One, your orientation and the onboarding process that follows are fantastic ways to inspire engagement and keep it thriving. By getting things like paperwork and HR policies out of the way before Day One, you’re able to focus on integrating new hires into your company culture and getting them excited about working with your organization.

Over the next 90 days, it’s important to keep them engaged in activities that will help them grow professionally, understand their role in the organization, and become an active member of their team. While you should already have a training program in place, encouraging feedback and making adjustments based off that feedback makes your new hires feel more engaged in their own professional development.

When it comes to employee engagement, these are just a few of the things you should be thinking about in 2015 and the future. Check out the full infographic from Laroque, Inc. and learn more about how to address other important employee engagement issues.

How does your organization approach employee engagement? What tools does it use to do so?

Image: Vmaster; BigStock

Topics: Employee Engagement

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