The best employee engagement strategy is an employee feedback strategy [webinar]
Watch the webinar ‘Power to Your People: Fostering Engagement with Employee Feedback Programs.’
As research continues to suggest that engaged employees yield positive, company-wide results, businesses have vested interest in identifying and focusing on the antecedents to engagement – the cultural and managerial factors that foster engagement within their workforces.
Because each workforce is made up of individuals with their own unique personalities and backgrounds, the engagement chemistry of any single business is highly dependent on its workforce and its employee feedback.
As in many instances, one of the most successful approaches to tapping into that unique chemistry is the most obvious. But it’s one that requires dedication and courage to implement. Employees invest themselves into their work when they can invest themselves into the business.
Personal involvement yields personal interest
People tend to support the things they’ve had a hand in building, and they tend to build things that suit their needs. Ask employees to help build the business, and they’ll build it in ways that match their engagement chemistries and increase their engagement.
The easiest way to start investing employees into the business is by inviting their feedback and taking action on what they are saying. Including employees as much as possible in the planning and decision-making that goes on in the business can be achieved through four key actions.
- Discover – Discover the real problems your workforce faces by collecting feedback about the work environment and what drives engagement on a consistent basis. Cast a wide net – you might be surprised by what the real problems are and what really engages employees.
- Devise – When solving business problems, leverage employee knowledge to understand potential solutions. Once you know what you want to improve, gather feedback from your workforce about what kind of solutions they can generate or have tried before. They’ll go after solutions that engage them personally and help them feel ownership.
- Deploy – Test potential solutions or decisions in a low-risk environment. Recruiting small groups of employees to test solutions to problems and give feedback helps employees take have confidence that the solution was made with their needs in mind.
- Decide – Leverage employee knowledge to determine which organizational changes to start, stop, and keep. After deploying solutions and making decisions, invite employees to weigh in on their success and suggest improvements.
The number-one rule for successfully incorporating feedback with discover, devise, deploy and decide is to communicate, communicate, communicate. Be explicit to employees about why you are sending an engagement survey and what you will do with the results, or what kind of ideas you will or won’t consider when devising solutions to problems. Employees are OK with the ideas and feedback of other employees being selected or acted upon instead of theirs as long as they can understand why.
By bringing employees into the problem-solving and decision-making processes of a business, employees earn the opportunity to mold the business and its culture into something that supports their engagement. Employees will tend to engage with a work environment they helped to create.