Simple Tips for 2013 on Driving up Employee Engagement by Sean Conrad

Simple ways to drive up employee engagement By Sean Conrad, Halogen Software

Engaging and retaining skilled employees is imperative to organisational survival, let alone success. Time and time again, the strong link between higher employee engagement and better financial results has been proven.

Research from several sources, including Towers Perrin, Gallup and Aon Hewitt demonstrates that organisations with high employee engagement outperform their peers. For example, Tower Watson’s three-year study of 41 multinational organisations found that companies with high engagement levels had 2% to 4% improvement in operating margin and net profit margin, whereas those with low engagement showed a decline of about 1.5% to 2%.

Almost all the current research on employee engagement tells us that there are a few basic things any organisation can do to increase employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. They include:

  • Give employees meaningful feedback on a regular basis.
  • Be clear about goals and expectations, and help employees see how their work matters to the organisation.
  • Reward, recognise and appreciate your employees in a fair and consistent way.
  • Give employees opportunities for growth and development.

These can seem like simple things to do, but without the right tools and support, your managers may not be giving employees what they need.

Increase the frequency of employee reviews
Some companies find that building quarterly reviews into their performance management process helps to give managers and employees a regularly committed interval for dialogue and feedback. These quarterly reviews don’t need to be as long or as detailed as your annual performance review session; the goal of these meetings is to provide a structured forum for giving employees feedback and for checking on progress.

If the inefficiencies and burden of a paper-based process are holding you back from increasing the frequency of employee reviews, look into an online employee performance review system to help streamline the process.

Gather feedback from others
Another way to provide employees with more meaningful feedback is to gather input from others. Feedback from multiple sources is broader and more objective, and helps both the manager and employee get a more accurate view of performance. This can be as simple as requesting feedback from another manager or supervisor that the employee works with, or from a colleague has knowledge of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. A more thorough approach involves gathering 360-degree feedback from peers, other managers, customers and more.

Keep ongoing notes on performance
Keeping and sharing notes on performance year-round helps to not only to better document performance, but also to open up the dialogue between a manager and an employee. Using performance journals lets managers and employees keep ongoing personal notes on performance and even share them with each other. Highlights, challenges and disconnects that might not otherwise be discovered until the annual performance review meeting can be shared and explored in a timely way.

By Sean Conrad, Halogen Software

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