Blog Post

How Smart Engagement Builds a Dynamic Workforce

Frank Ricciardi

[formerly] SVP and General Manager, Asia-Pacific for Cornerstone OnDemand

Real engagement in the workplace is part of a dynamic process of feedback and exchange.

The more information you have about your employees, the easier it is to build programs and processes which actively involve them in learning and development.

The more engaging your learning and performance strategies are, the greater the rewards in terms of staff productivity.

Workforce engagement has never been more important. Gallup research shows that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged. And according to Deloitte, as few as 4 percent of companies believe they are good at engaging with Millennials in the workplace.

True engagement boosts company loyalty, reduces absentee days and increases an organisation’s profit.

With employee engagement at record lows, the challenge lies in finding new ways to win the hearts and minds of your workers.

The best way to do this is by building a culture of strong, creative communication and feedback while driving organisational growth.

Practical, Proven Ways to Boost Workplace Engagement

This all sounds fine. But how does it work in practice? Breaking the cycle of boredom, distraction and disengagement requires more than enthusiasm and good will.

To understand your employees enough to engage them, you need to provide a system of continuous feedback which gives them the chance to tell you exactly what they need, where they’re at, and what they aspire to.

This can happen in real time, 24/7, on the smart mobile devices that are central to Millennial communication, and that are becoming increasingly intertwined in the lives of older generations of workers as well.

Once you have this vital feedback, you can start setting up central, cloud-based programs which feed their interest, meet their career objectives and fulfil their individual need to be recognised, encouraged, trained, coached, mentored and considered–in all the right ways.

Customised programs lead, in turn, to a more focused and engaged workforce. Staff are now keen to collaborate and are increasingly able to innovate in small and major ways.

Open lines of communication produce employees who feel valued, connected to their workplace, and able to build relationships in a more effective manner.

By collecting real data from your employees, you are in a far better position to connect with them–in ways that resonate with their lifestyle, objectives and expectations.

Over time, you have the tools to build a smarter, more engaged and far more productive workforce.

How Continuous Feedback Is the Key to Engagement

The following examples of continuous feedback show how it can work on the ground.

1) Measure Employee Engagement

Craft a customised survey on a recurring quarterly or biannual basis to gather staff opinions on topics as diverse as feeling safe in the office, having opportunities for career development and quality of managerial feedback.

2) Encourage Open Communication

Make your surveys fit for purpose to receive maximum possible feedback. Design confidential surveys–encouraging honest, unbiased responses–and dispose of lengthy questionnaires by allowing staff to answer a couple of questions in less than 10 seconds per day.

3) Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Create a series of pulse surveys designed to measure specific performance indicators, allowing HR to make ongoing adjustments. Call for targeted feedback on areas of employee dissatisfaction, gathering suggestions to improve company culture and practice.

A continuous feedback survey platform like Cornerstone Engage allows your organisation to capture, analyse and act on real-time employee feedback.

You can then:

  • Measure engagement more accurately
  • Capture feedback to help identify areas of difficulty and improvement
  • Create customised programs to suit individual needs
  • Track the effectiveness of these programs over time

Drilling down into the details will give you the data you need to make truly impactful workforce decisions.

So why get stuck in recurring loops of boredom and dissatisfaction? Integrate Cornerstone Engage with your cloud-based talent management platform and find your way out of the maze.

Photo: Creative Commons

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