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Assess employee engagement before it’s too late

Assess employee engagement before it’s too late
Executive Summary
The pace of technological change, along with factors such as global political uncertainty and economic rebalancing, is causing social change. In the workplace, employees expect equity, improved remuneration prospects, wider benefits, and corporate transparency. However, employees seem increasingly dissatisfied — globally, only 13% of employees may be fully engaged, as stated by a recent Gallup report. This article looks at employee engagement assessments and why they are so valuable for organizations with superior performance.

 

Actively disengaged employees cost American companies between US$450 billion and US$550 billion in lost productivity per year; in Germany, the estimated range is €112 billion to €138 billion. And the global situation isn’t much better. These figures are clearly concerning, and leaders need to consider the widespread causes of disengagement. So, when last did you conduct an employee engagement assessment in your organization?

Actively disengaged employees cost American companies between US$450 billion and US$550 billion in lost productivity per year.

Engagement assessments differ from climate assessments: climate assessments typically measure how satisfied employees are with their pay and working conditions, while engagement assessments measure the motivational elements of the employee’s job — these motivational elements are discussed further below.

When last did you conduct an employee engagement assessment in your organization?

International research shows a clear connection between employee engagement, and customer satisfaction and profitability. The key is to assess the level of engagement in the workforce and to inspire greater degrees of employee engagement.

However, it is pointless assessing the level of engagement only once. Assessments need to be undertaken regularly. The initial measurement can be the baseline for future assessments undertaken at least every two years.

What does it measure?
Employee engagement assessments typically measure the following:

  • Recognition
    This involves the extent to which the employee feels they are properly acknowledged for superior performance. Research has shown that being recognized regularly and consistently is a prime motivator of the “new millennials”, i.e. those employees who only came into the workforce in the new millennium.
  • Opportunities to contribute
    Is the employee encouraged and empowered to make a contribution?
  • The work itself
    Is the work interesting and challenging? To what extent can the work be customized to meet the employee’s expectations for meaningful work and take full advantage of the employee’s inherent strengths?
  • Opportunities to growengagement
    Both competency development and career development opportunities should be considered. If an employee’s realistic expectations of career advancement are not met, they may look for the right opportunity elsewhere.
  • Quality of leadership
    This comprises the extent to which leadership adopts a coaching management style and is seen to be interested in the employees’ needs and career development.
  • Identification with the organization’s vision and values
    Are the employee’s values in line with the organization’s values and are these values visibly lived by the organization’s leadership?

Who should design it and why?
Many organizations use assessment specialists to design and administer their employee engagement assessments for reasons including the following:

  • It is very important to choose the right measurement tool and to accept that no one tool will be suitable for all situations in a typically diverse workforce
  • It is also essential that the measurement methodology employed actually measures what it is designed to measure
International research shows a clear connection between employee engagement, and customer satisfaction and profitability.

Finally, if one accepts that an engaged workforce will outperform a disengaged or ambivalent one, it is crucial to track the outcomes of the engagement assessments against predetermined performance metrics such as these five:

  1. Employee retention rates
  2. Absenteeism levels
  3. Customer satisfaction
  4. Individual performance ratings
  5. Financial considerations such as increased sales revenue and profits

While the assessed level of employee engagement will not be the only factor determining improvement, evidence internationally shows a direct correlation between improved employee engagement levels and superior organizational performance.

 

Disclaimer
This resource has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Competitive Capabilities International (CCi) does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this resource or for any decision based on it.

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