Are Your Employee Engagement Efforts Getting Outdated?

Photo by istockphoto
Photo by istockphoto

Leaders who step back and consider their employee engagement and outreach efforts for a moment may realize that they have lost the thread.

If employees are looking for new roles or considering leaving — and today, many are doing just that  — calling them “engaged” seems foolhardy. Instead of pouring more resources into the assessment metrics that are already in place, it could be better to simply change strategies at a base level.

It’s not too late to switch tactics, and every moment that a business pushes forward with a system that is failing to reach the modern workforce, the danger of losing those employees becomes more immediate.

What’s the new best approach?

Of course, if it’s time to break down the old way of performing, there must be something in its place.

Josh Bersin, in a recent article for Forbes, recently set out a potential new future for the world of employee retention techniques.

He posited that it’s time to move away from surveys, indicating that this is not a sufficient measure of whether employees really care about their roles. In addition to leaving traditional measurement tactics behind, it may also be time to abandon some of the long-held wisdom of the retention field.

Bersin stated, for instance, that the importance placed on the employee-manager relationship is somewhat misleading today. He cited recent research on the matter, indicating that the number of factors influencing employees to depart is now high. The findings included the fact that it is co-workers, rather than supervisors, who really determine whether workers stay or leave, and highlighted the huge role opportunities have in keeping employees loyal and engaged.

In Bersin’s view, the entire traditional concept of employee loyalty and engagement needs a revision. He stated that the key to improvement in these departments could be committing to the concept that people are the key to the business’ success and not a resource in the conventional sense, as is implied by the phrase “human resources.”

Complicated factors

Traditional measures of employee happiness and engagement may also be overlooking some of the more in-depth factors that determine how a work environment develops.

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HR Magazine (the UK version) recently suggested that health and wellness is part of this mixture. Leaders will need to monitor and be aware of the wellbeing of the employee base to keep them truly engaged.

An overwhelming majority of employees tend to say they are stressed or having trouble balancing their jobs with their private lives. Monitoring and taking action to help with these issues may reduce employee turnover.

Upgrading technology

Today’s workplaces are tied together by communications solutions, meaning that the better and more seamlessly integrated these tech tools are, the better the view leaders will have of conditions among the workforce.

Employee engagement software designed with up-to-date needs in mind can offer a much more sophisticated view than products designed to come up with an occasional survey result about the general happiness level of the firm.

Making such processes a feature of the daily routine rather than something to be occasionally consulted may bring swift and positive culture change.

Read more from David Bator on his blog: Beyond the Employee Survey.

David Bator is passionate about programs that move people. As Vice President of Client Strategy at TemboStatus he works with growing companies everyday and helps them bridge the gap between assessing employee engagement and addressing it with action. For the last 15 years David has worked with the leadership of companies large and small to build programs that leverage strategy and technology to deliver extraordinary value for employees, customers and partners. Contact him at david@tembosocial.com

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