There is nothing more damaging to employee morale than asking employees for their thoughts and opinions on an issue and then failing to take any action based on their input. It is vital that employees understand that steps are being taken to improve employee engagement as a result of their responses.
Step 1: Know What Drives Employee Engagement
After you have a pulse on your employees' commitment to the organization, action is required. Knowing what drives employee engagement will help you plan those action steps. Some drivers of employee engagement are:
- Involvement in decision making
- The extent to which employees feel able to voice their ideas, and managers listen to those views and value employees’ contributions
- The opportunities employees have to develop their jobs
- The extent to which the organization is concerned for employees’ health and well-being
In all cases, two-way communication and management play vital roles in keeping employees engaged.
Step 2: Get Senior Leader Buy-In
Senior leader buy-in is critical for employee engagement initiatives to succeed. Good leaders create a culture of engagement, keep employee trust, and help increase productivity, employee satisfaction and retention.
If senior leaders do not understand the importance of employee engagement, now is the time for HR and talent management professionals to educate them. Show them the direct correlation between employee engagement and the organization’s bottom line. Share with them the results of the employee survey (or of the one-on-one meetings, focus groups or town hall meetings) and the steps needed to improve engagement.
Step 3: Communicate with Employees
One of the hallmarks of organizations with strong employee engagement is communication. Let employees know the steps you have taken to assess employee engagement, the outcome of those steps, and the plans moving forward to improve employee engagement. Communication can take the form of town hall meetings, articles in employee newsletters and on employee intranets or e-mail. Always use the communication methods you have found to be most effective in your workplace.
Step 4: Act on the Results
Each organization will differ in what they need to do to improve employee engagement. In some cases, for example, feedback may reveal that employees don’t understand the organization’s mission and vision. If this is the case, a series of meetings or brown-bag lunches can be arranged where the organization’s mission, vision and strategic plan are discussed and a link made to each employee’s role in the organization and how their work contributes to the organization’s success. The important point is that the action steps should be tailored to the needs identified through employee feedback.
To dive deeper into the steps above and to learn more about the topic of employee engagement, download our white paper titled Focusing on Employee Engagement: How to Measure it and Improve it.