As we’ve learned previously, a manager’s diligence in keeping a watchful eye on key metrics as a way to assess whether they are on-target for the week or quarter is incredibly important. Knowing how we are doing against our goals is the first step in reviewing our actions and making course corrections. However, there is one addition you can make that plays a significant role in helping you meet company, district or regional goals and unit-level goals.
The item that is often overlooked on a manager’s list of KPIs (key performance indicators) but can have a significant impact on success is employee engagement; meaning, are your employees committed to the business at hand or are they marking time until something new comes along? Many companies have structured programs to ensure employee performance meets targets, but it’s equally important to gain feedback to understand where your employees’ heads are.
I recently conducted our regular employee engagement survey to assess whether we are meeting our obligation to provide the right support, guidance and encouragement to our employee group. We asked employees about job expectations, recognition, opportunities for input and advancement, and if they feel they have access to the right tools, equipment and training to excel.
We use a tested survey questionnaire from the Gallup organization which states that “increasing employee engagement correlates directly with a positive impact on key business metrics.” It’s easy to use in one location, across multiple units or throughout your company.
Their research shows that:
• In world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 9.57:1.
• In average organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.83:1.
The payoff for improved employee engagement goes far beyond just having a happy workforce. Gallup’s findings show that engaged workers have higher productivity and reduced absenteeism and safety incidents. Their companies also benefit by having greater earnings and growth rates. Sometimes employee feedback is sensitive when it highlights areas where the company can improve, but that is ultimately more valuable than receiving perfect scores from employees who don’t believe their input really matters.
The benefits of higher employee engagement levels are mirrored by a Kenexa Research Institute study that paints the following picture of organizations with this trait:
• Leaders who inspire confidence in the future
• Managers who respect and recognize employees
• Exciting work they know how to do
• Organizations that demonstrate a genuine responsibility to their employees and communities
Simple research provides lots of suggestions on ways to increase employee engagement; but the fundamentals remain consistent.
• Communicate clearly and regularly about business matters – this builds trust and everyone likes to be “in the loop”
• State your mission and values often and hire employees who support and share them
• Provide opportunities for employees to share opinions and be heard
• Have regular conversations about job expectations, performance feedback and development opportunities
• Be consistent in providing recognition for good results
By following the above guidelines you can help create employees who perceive themselves as partners in your business success. Showing respect for employees and the job they do doesn’t require special training or additional resources, but will pay off for you as well as for your company. If your current KPI list doesn’t include some measurement of employee engagement, consider adding one and watch to see if your other results also improve.
By Nancy Lane, Human Resource Manager at Red Book Solutions and B2A, LLC – 30 years of experience in education, medical imaging, oil & gas and business services.