What is employee engagement?
We like to keep things simple. So we think about it as: ‘helping organizations build stronger connections with their people to drive business performance’.
So, why is it important? Depending on which survey you read, employee engagement levels are either slightly higher than they were, static, or slightly lower. But, even if you optimistically go with the ‘marginally improved’ data, the total number of ‘engaged’ employees is still hugely underwhelming. Forgetting for one moment how you measure ‘engagement’ (a discussion point on its own), it’s clear that something isn’t working.
Our approach to employee engagement
We believe it’s time to look at it differently. It’s why we focus on the employee experience. That experience has multiple touchpoints, all of which should reinforce what you stand for as an organization and what makes you unique. For example, do your values shine through in the on-boarding process? Do your Leaders talk about your purpose in an authentic, inspiring way? Each touchpoint is an opportunity to reinforce who you are, to strengthen the connections with your people.
Shaping what those touchpoints look and feel like starts by listening to your people. What’s the experience today? What’s working well? How could it be enhanced? In the past that would have been expensive and time-consuming. But technology has changed everything. We use a pioneering online platform to run real-time, anonymous online sessions that get us to a better answer, faster. In a week, we can listen to thousands of employees, uncovering insights, brainstorming solutions and aligning around actions.
Our work to help AstraZeneca change their employees’ day to day experience is a great example, The focus was on reducing complexity, duplication and bureaucracy - ‘simplifying’ the business so that people could focus on what really matter. Online sessions with hundreds of employees identified ‘pain points’ and the top three to tackle. Within weeks this had been actioned. Within months the business benefits were clear – 2 million employee hours ‘saved’ and repurposed.
By starting with the business challenge and thinking about it through the lens of changing the employee experience, ‘engagement’ became a natural outcome. It’s how we approach every project, from creating employee value propositions and defining authentic values to embedding organizational purpose statements and creating belief in a business vision.
And whatever the challenge, we embrace creativity and story-telling to inspire people and drive performance.