an article written by Mark Feffer, he outlines the importance of employee engagement
and walks readers through ways to help increase engagement and get employees excited
you discover that engagement is low, you need to develop a plan for building it
back up. But before you start, there’s a lot of prep work to do. After all,
engagement is about how people feel, so understanding the workforce’s mindset
1. Understand What’s
Happening and Why
The first step is to learn why employees feel
disengaged. The most effective way to do that is to ask in direct conversations
with a wide range of employees. In these conversations, be empathetic and
resist the temptation to defend or explain problems that come up.
Also, conduct an anonymous survey that gives the entire
workforce an opportunity to chime in. Focus your questions on the
organization’s leadership, career development opportunities, company pride and
how everyone views their working relationships. Focus groups and town hall
meetings can help clarify issues the survey may uncover.
Finally, get a handle on more objective issues by tracking
workforce-related key performance indicators.Diving deep—by both listening and
studying data—is key to addressing engagement issues.
2. Keep Your Promises
As you gather feedback, make sure HR and the organization’s
leadership are on the same page about what you’re going to do with it.
“Don’t even bother to ask employees what’s preventing them from feeling
more engaged … if you don’t intend to publicly do something with what you
learn. You’ll do more harm to your company culture and employees’ engagement
levels if your inquiries don’t result in visible changes in the
If topics come up that are impossible to act on, clearly and
honestly explaining why HR can’t take action. This is particularly important
because practitioners are often criticized for being reactive rather than
The emphasis on action is a good step to take. Once leaders get
feedback data, “they sometimes go into ‘analysis paralysis’ and can’t
decide on a focus area, which results in spinning wheels. The best thing to do
is select one or two areas you think will have the biggest impact on
engagement” and act on them.
3. Communicate at All
Transparency is at the heart of any plan to attack disengagement”
It shows the workforce respect, whether you’re honestly explaining why a
decision was made or demonstrating that executives and HR hold themselves and
others accountable. “This is key to a great culture. Culture is really a
living, breathing organism, and if you cut off certain parts from others—well,
you know what will happen next."
While experts agree that engagement begins at the top. The
quality of employees’ relationships with their immediate supervisors
"overwhelmingly determines the level of engagement and can account for as
much as 70 percent of our engagement score.”
Managers don’t spend enough time communicating with their direct
reports. For example, 53 percent of employees don’t have a clear understanding
of how their role contributes to their company’s objectives, and 54 percent
believe their colleagues appreciate them more than their supervisors or company
executives do. That lack of communication weakens the relationship.
4. Have a Plan and Track
When it comes to
increasing engagement, exactly what HR does and how it does it will vary from
company to company and, if you decide to bring one in, from consultant to
consultant. However, engagement professionals have some tips to consider as you
develop your plan:
– Culture is driven from
the top down, so senior
leaders must be involved in any plan’s implementation by directing initiatives
and making sure to communicate about them. The leadership team should also meet
regularly to review the plan’s progress.
– Set specific goals and assign responsibility for each one. Determine ahead of
time how progress will be measured, then track results on an ongoing basis.
– Rewards are an
important part of most
engagement programs, so develop an approach that aligns with the interests of
your workforce and recognizes the effort employees need to put in at each step.
– You need a
budget. Ask yourself what’s
possible with the money you have and what you want to achieve. Plan for how
your expenses will change based on positive or negative outcomes.
– This never ends. “Everyone has to accept this is iterative,” said Marta
Coakley, a legal editor at XpertHR. “What employees value one year may not
be true the next year, and you have to keep up with the workforce’s
Converge HR Solutions, people are our passion. We can assist your company in
understanding employee engagement and can help you in creating an all-around
positive work environment. If you would like to learn more about what products and
services Converge HR Solutions can offer you, please visit our website at https://convergehrsolutions.com/ or contact us
directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at