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How to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee disengagement is as widespread today as it is costly.

According to Gallup, 85 percent of U.S. employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work—a problem that can lead to $7 trillion in lost productivity. Just as distressing: disengaged employees are probably looking for other jobs.

While it may be tempting to see disengagement as an employee problem, the causes of disengagement can stem from the employer, too. Workers might become disengaged because they are not being valued or utilized properly, don't have a path for advancement, or have a poor relationship with their managers.

By using your performance management system, you can bring your workers back into the fold and improve employee engagement. Below we cover how to improve employee engagement. The key is to help each employee create a personalized career path, provide continuous feedback and create a clear path for success.

Give Employees the Tools to Create a Personalized Career Path

One of the top reasons employees feel disengaged at work is from lack of career growth—or feeling "stuck"—at their job. By personalizing and tracking employee career development using your performance management system you can ensure every employee is working towards the career they want for themselves. while aligning their goals with the overall business strategy.

A performance management system also improve employee engagement by allowing them to visually track their progress as they complete trainings and tasks related to their goals, from anywhere at anytime. When development is optimized to fit individual needs and is driven by learner interests, employees can build critical skills—and become more fulfilled and engaged in the process.

Provide Continuous Feedback

Once employees have set their career development goals in the performance management system, it's critical to provide timely feedback on their progress in order to keep them engaged. Schedule ongoing employee-to-manager conversations about their work, goals and performance. Use employees benchmarked talent abilities in your performance management system to see how they are improving and provide feedback on which skills they should focus on next.

These conversations, and all performance assessments, shouldn't be limited to once or twice a year—they should take place any time you have feedback, or when employees want input on tasks or activities. This is known as “continuous performance management," and it's a big improvement over the static, annual check-ins that were once commonplace.

Create a Clear Path For Success

Follow-through on continuous conversations is critical to improving employee engagement. It shows employees that you've been listening and that you're ready to help them progress along the development journey. Performance management systems can track conversations and help employees clearly define their goals and see their own path for success. For example, if you find that an employee's skills are misaligned with their current role, you can use the system to identify alternative career paths or recommend personalized training to put them back on track.

This employee-centric approach will become more necessary in the future, because the next generation of workers is more likely to expect professional development from their employers—and when their expectations are met, they are less likely to become disengaged and unhappy.

Your performance management system can play a key part in helping both your employee and business goals merge. Employees who see clear opportunities and defined paths are more engaged and therefore likely to do their best, helping companies achieve optimal business results.

Want to improve employee engagement? Cornerstone's Performance Suite empowers employees with clear, measurable goals, defined career paths, and targeted development plans.
 

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