Across organizations, it is very clear that having motivated and engaged employees play a pivotal role in achieving the objectives of an organization. HR teams strive to put in a place a series of initiatives which will ensure maximum employee engagement and involvement. Having said that the topic is very subjective, and it becomes difficult to gauge the engagement levels in an organization in a clear and transparent manner.
In spite of numerous innovative tools for engagement tracking, that help companies measure engagement more easily and more often, the engagement process alone still can’t answer the question: “How does engagement actually affect the workforce and business outcomes?”
It is common across organizations to link engagement to critical indicators such as performance ratings, resignations, promotions, or instability of managers and assign targets against each of these for specific periods. While the HR team may be doing a great job at managing these numbers and are on target, they typically may be failing to delve into the WHY of the problems. Furthermore, when engagement scores are presented as isolated metrics, HR can’t make the necessary link between engagement investments and key business outcomes. This is a major challenge because business leaders expect all functions within their organization, including HR, to know how the money they spend will impact overall results, especially revenue and profitability.
Here are some simple steps through which you can put your Employee Engagement data to work
Step 1: Spend time to understand the key Business metrics
To start, HR must figure out what the rest of the business is measuring. While we focus on headcount, turnover, time to hire, etc., the business will be thinking about revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, and many other metrics. Your industry (and your company) will have their own core business metrics and it is important to understand what they are – and why they matter. Having understood them, you need to see how you can port this data and integrate that within your HR metrics
Step 2: Gather and integrate data from Multiple Sources
To unlock the value of engagement data, you need to combine it with other information, such as employee data from your HR management and performance management systems and business outcome data from your ERP, and bring all that data into a single system that supports broad, ad-hoc analysis. This way, you can connect your employee engagement data to things your business cares about, such as performance and profitability.
Step 3: Drill Deep, especially with the red flags
If you see any red flags, drill deeper into the data to determine what is causing the engagement problem: Is it our approach to rewards? Do people feel they have a connection to the business? Are the right people being challenged by their work?
Be warned, however, that analysis is not the same as the production of static reports or dashboards. These are tools that simply monitor isolated metrics.True analysis always requires the ability to combine different metrics, different statistical processes, and different ways to share and display the data so that real information can surface, that answers critical business questions. The true analysis should answer questions like: Does changing a team’s manager or changing a team every year affect level of engagement for an employee?
Step 4: Get Buy-In for Critical Programs
Finally, to get buy-in for the program from pivotal decision-makers, demonstrate how it will help in creating business value.
You will need to build stories based on the real data and the analytics that you have derived so far and made strong pitches for programs that you want functional. Also, your stories/pitches to the management need to be business driven and not HR division-centric to ensure that they get approved.
It could go something like this: We want to reduce resignations of pivotal employees in our testing division so that we can meet our on-time product delivery goals.
At the end of the day, HR leaders who can succinctly demonstrate the connections between talent and business success are more likely to play a strategic role.