Every organization is looking for ways to improve and to rise above the competition. A vast amount of research has shown that, across industries and job types, employees have many workplace needs in common. But something is being lost between the knowing and the doing. Between the mountains of compelling data and the integration of these proven practices into our organizations.
Likely we’re not doing the work because it seems hard. Can’t we just change a policy or process to deal with that issue? Must we REALLY get to know our employees an deliver on their basic workplace needs? Nah. Instead we’ll implement a new HRIS System. That should work.
Unfortunately, changing a process or upgrading a system can only deliver a finite set of gains – until you fully account for the fact that PEOPLE run the PROCESSES. Organizational change is all about the people within your company and people are messy, unique, and sensitive. Here are some tips on the needs of your employees and how to meet these needs:
Universal Employee Needs:
- Clear Expectations
- The Talent to Perform
- Tools and Resources to Meet Expectations
- Consistent Feedback (typically from their manager)
- Knowledge of Where Their Career is Headed
- Knowledge of Where They Fit Into the Plan
Activate Human Capital Group’s Employee Commitment IndexTM measures an employee’s level of agreement to these items. Measuring an employee’s level of satisfaction with these factors and others, gives a deeper understanding of their level of engagement.
What Does Engagement Look Like?
Engaged Employees go the extra mile, even when that mile is beyond their current job description or usual tasks. While doing so, productivity and collaboration improvements abound. Employees also consistently work with greater efficiency and a higher focus on quality. They tend to stay with organizations longer, steal less, have fewer unscheduled absences, and even show a reduced likeliness for injuries on the job. The benefits are seen from the manager’s perspective as well. We hear so many managers identify their most engaged employees and lament that they can’t hire ten more just like them. Customer interactions with these employees engaging, and engaged employees act as “Brand Ambassadors” or positive extensions of the organization’s brand.
Not engaged employees fall into two categories, only having some of their needs met all of the time or having all of their needs met some of the time. Just as their needs are halfway being met, their work will be done. They will complete their job description, but will not rise to meet additional needs of the organization. They may not be actively searching for a new job, but if the right offer is presented, they would take it. Customers will find their encounters to be lukewarm when interacting with these employees.
Actively disengaged employees are missing most or all of their workplace needs. Productivity is reduced and corners are often cut on quality. They take extra breaks and often use those breaks to commiserate negatively with others. These employees are either actively searching for new employment or will be soon. Unsurprisingly, customer interactions with these employees suffer as well.
Meet Your Employees Where They Are
Good news! Engagement level is NOT a personality trait. It’s more like an ever-changing barometer. That’s good news for leaders whose first reaction is to start by terminating their actively disengaged employees.
The easiest way to meet employees where they are it to start with a baseline and develop an engagement roadmap from that baseline measurement of engagement. The baseline and ongoing measurements over time help managers know what’s working and what needs aren’t being met on their individual work teams. Investing in an employee engagement program and requiring managers to “do the work” of meeting employee needs consistently produces positive financial returns in areas such as improved productivity, quality, and profitability, reduced turnover and absenteeism, and improved customer loyalty.
Activate Human Capital can bring tools and resources that not only measure your level of employee engagement, but can discuss and implement strategies to make highly engaged employees out of your existing pool of talent. Contact Activate Human Capital Group at 530-713-6359 or through our contact page.