Employee Engagement is about more than just a good survey.
If you want to nail it when it comes to employee engagement, you absolutely must take action after your engagement survey. In this blog I’ll dig into how you can use what you know about your employees core values to develop an employee engagement action strategy that is tailored to your unique organization or team.
Collecting Engagement Survey Results is easy. The hard part is what comes next.
Okay, okay. Collecting the results isn’t easy either. First you have to decide what questions to ask. Will you ask customized questions, or will you go with what a vendor provides? What vendor will you choose and how will you send the survey out? How are you going to message the survey and generate high participation?
Despite all of the work that goes into setting up the perfect employee engagement survey, the research shows that results haven’t improved much.
For more than 30 years, companies have focused on employee engagement and administered surveys. The most positive change in all that time is that, now companies can measure engagement faster (and cheaper) than ever. With inexpensive engagement surveys completed online in minutes, you would think employee engagement would be at an all time high! Sadly, that’s not the case.
That’s because despite the massive effort you put in just to send the survey out, you need to put an even bigger effort into the actions you take based on those results. Since most engagement surveys only highlight what needs to be fixed, and not how to fix those areas, it’s up to you to figure out next steps. A
The secret to an awesome employee engagement strategy is to know what your employees value across different teams. This way you can create an engagement strategy that everyone will get behind.
Keep reading and make sure to download our Engagement Alignment worksheet. The worksheet will help you link what you know about your team or organization’s hardwired values with the results from your employee engagement survey to formulate an action strategy that’s tailored to your unique group!
One Engagement Strategy Does Not Fit All
A successful engagement strategy for one team can be a total failure for another team.
Imagine this real sales team scenario:
- The CFO just delivered a a revenue target that is 2x last years number
- Based on average deal size and close rates the VP of Sales knew her team needed to hold twice as many appointments
- To reach those appointment goals the team needed to increase outbound cold calls
Outbound calling is perhaps the most hateful task a sales person can think of. To make things worse, recent engagement results showed that her team’s engagement was satisfactory at best. With so many companies in town, the VP of Sales risked losing her team if she didn’t figure out a way to increase their engagement around this goal.
Outbound calls were down, so she needed to get everyone pulling in the same direction fast! She had to align her engagement strategy to her teams unique values. She knew that across her team individuals valued the following in this order:
- Opportunities for Professional Growth
- Sharing information freely
- Rewarding team success
- High Pay for High Performance.
For the last few months she’d left work scratching her head. She joined the company because she believed in the product and the pay was competitive. So she couldn’t understand why these well paid employees weren’t going the distance. Once she learned what was important to her team it became obvious why cash rewards weren’t doing the trick.
The first issue was that financial rewards were tied to closed deals, so sales people weren’t incentivized to make cold calls. But the problem was deeper than that. In a list of their 5 most important values her sales team had identified High Pay for High Performance as least important! Go figure!
Now that she knew what her team valued, it was easy to develop a plan that fit.
To engage her team she redelivered the new goal, strategy and tactics to her team in line with what they valued.
- She explained the reason for the switch to a high number of cold calls with a lot of data to back up the decision making process [sharing information freely].
- Then she broke her team into smaller groups and set up a cold calling scoreboard that ranked each groups total calls and appointments [competition]. The winning group each month was sent to a sales training seminar [opportunities for professional growth].
- Finally, when the team as a whole reached their monthly goal they were rewarded with a desirable team event outside the office [rewarding team success].
Her tailored approach to employee engagement worked!
Soon there was a noticeable morale improvement on the team and a performance increase was quick to follow. She didn’t even have to change the comp plan!
This competition-based employee engagement strategy might crash and burn if you applied it to a Customer Support team that doesn’t value competition. At best this approach might fall flat. At worst they may be actively disengaged if they are encouraged to compete against one another.
Do you feel confident that you know what your team’s unique values are so that you can engage them on your terms?
An engagement strategy must be aligned to the unique values of each team for it to work. Every individual on a team is unique, and therefore every team is unique. To be effective, employee engagement strategies have to be tailored to each unique team.
Do It Yourself
To make it easy I created an Engagement and Team Values Alignment Worksheet to show you how to use your engagement survey results to develop employee engagement strategies tailored to a specific team. With the worksheet you’ll be able to:
- Visualize what areas of engagement need attention
- Understand the unique values of your employees and teams
- Build employee engagement strategies based on what your unique teams value.
Whether you’ve collected employee engagement survey results recently or not, you can use this worksheet to help you ID areas with low satisfaction and take tailored action to course correct based on how your team is wired.
To wrap up, I started out talking about employee engagement and what you can do with your survey results, but I ended with emphasizing how important it is to understand what your team values and how they’re wired. That’s because the most important part of an Engagement Program is not measuring engagement, but knowing your team. Just follow that link to get a free profile for teams of up to 10 people!