April 24, 2014
When carrying out employee engagement surveys, employers are not asking the right questions that pinpoint exactly what actions need to be taken. This often results in a failure to act on their findings, which can then lead to higher levels of dissatisfaction amongst staff who have shared their thoughts without seeing any outcome. This is according to a review by software specialist Head Light, which has identified 12 factors which fundamentally impact on how people feel about their work and their employer. These are: wellbeing; motivation; reward and recognition; involvement; autonomy; teamwork and collaboration; purpose and meaning; relationships; trust; career/personal development; communication and performance management. It claims that engagement can be improved at each level of an organisation by asking employees about these 12 factors and then providing senior executives, line managers and individuals with a personalised list of manageable actions.
“Employee engagement must be on HR’s agenda when time after time research studies show it can increase productivity, improve financial performance, lower attrition and raise customer satisfaction,” said Ian Lee-Emery, Managing Director of Head Light.
“But there’s a difference between measuring engagement and actually taking action to drive it up. If you run an engagement survey and then find that there’s no clear action or direction to take, then disengagement can result, as the act of asking brings problem areas to the front of employees’ minds.”
“Organisations often ask generic questions about attitudes, perceptions and job satisfaction but they don’t focus on the specific issues that drive engagement or the barriers that employees face,” said Ian Lee-Emery.
“When it comes to analysing the survey data, they get blinded by too much information, so they can’t see where the real challenges lie or what actions they need to take to improve the situation. As one organisation cited, in the past they have ‘over asked and under acted’.”
Head Light carried out a systematic review of published sources and engagement offerings, to produce an analysis which uncovered the 12 factors that really influence engagement.
“Our review shows that these 12 universal factors fundamentally effect how people feel about their work and their employer,” said Debbie Hance, Head of Business Psychology at Head Light.
“These are the key areas that organisations need to ask about in their engagement surveys. They should then prioritise a small number of personalised, ‘easy-to-implement’ actions that each of their senior executives, line managers and individual contributors can take, to create a more conducive work environment and improve any areas of disengagement. Even small changes can make a noticeable difference.”