Why your employee engagement program doesn’t work
Let’s start out with the most basic truth of the engagement space: annual employee engagement surveys are meaningless.
If you are only asking employees for their opinions once a year, you will rarely see an adequate view of your company and your employees will rarely see real changes as a result of their participation. In short, it's a lose lose situation. In fact, this traditional process ends up creating more disengagement and distrust than anything else. If that is the way your company currently collects data from employees, I strongly urge you to stop here and check out weeve.ai to see how we can help - I promise you we can.
Ok for all those who have made it this far, I assume that your organization is more mature in collecting feedback from the workforce whether that is in the form of pulse surveys, incentive programs, or company forums. However, you are not off the hook yet! Many seemingly robust engagement programs are still plagued by common issues that could be hurting the effectiveness of your program.
So what are the 3 things most organizations getting wrong when it comes to their employee engagement programs?
The act of measuring input from your employees does not count as engagement. Just because you send out a pulse survey doesn’t mean you get to check the box of employee engagement. Engagement is a two way street and can only be sustained when there is a feedback loop between those giving their input and those that can take action on those issues. In short, your managers and leaders have to act on the input and create a dialogue for employees to feel engaged.
Numbers aren’t the only things that matter. Think about it, when you ask employees how they are feeling from a 1-5 scale, a 3 can mean wildly different things for Bob versus for Alice. Though there is definitely value in being able to see a score across your organization for things like Net Promoter Score, the most actionable data is not in the number but what goes into that number. The emotion and words employees use are far more telling of their experience and their grievances than any one number is. That is why we here at Weeve pride ourselves in our solution being able to surface all the important data behind an employee’s statement, including emotion, sentiment, and anonymous text. This way, managers can get the “why” and not just the “what”.
Engagement doesn’t live with HR, it lives with every leader. The worst mistake an employee engagement program can make is putting all the responsibility of acting on employee feedback in the arms of HR. This is probably the easiest way to kill a program in the water. Like I said in point 1, managers and leaders have to be responsible for reacting to feedback and enacting change at their levels due to that feedback. HR can be a great tool to drive broad communication and support those positions, but real cultural change at an organization happens when leaders make it happen.
If you fix those 3 mistakes by creating a dialogue loop, focusing on the “why” behind the metrics in the form of response data, and emphasizing change at the leadership level, you will see rapid improvement in your employee engagement program. If you want to get started down this path but don’t know how, contact us at weeve.ai - we can help you put your engagement program back on track!