The Workplace Engagement Solutions, David Harder
The idea that employee engagement is an essential part of the potential success of a company is not news. Organizations spend billions annually on initiatives to boost engagement engagements. However, with engagement at only 13% globally author David Harder suggests the problem is that leaders are not teaching employees the skills they need to navigate the ever-changing business world and that it is the role and responsibility of the company’s leaders and HR departments to be the role model for the behavior they want to see transcend their organizations. Harder believes that engagement programs are not enough, that to truly engage your employee population leaders must take charge in developing programs that spread the conduct throughout the organization. Examples of this take charge movement may include C-suite executives owning the personality of their organization’s culture and changing the view of engagement from an expense to a source that generates higher profits.
Harder wrote this book to help business leaders to respond effectively to these and other challenges. They, in turn, would be well-advised to keep in mind this passage from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:
“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know;
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”
Harder is able to paint a portrait of what an engaged leader may look like by giving the reader a multitude of information, insights, and advice to navigate what may work best within their organization. Overall, the book outlines a compelling answer to the billion-dollar question of how to actively engage your employees.
While I attended several great sessions at this year’s HRTEch conference in Las Vegas that included speakers from Google, APD, Oracle and Microsoft, the one that really had an impact on me HR Tech 20/20: That Talent Acquisition Journey Forward.
While some of the meetings revolved around tech trends like social recruiting, mobile optimization and advanced talent analytics, the most intriguing part for me was the discussion around the need for a shift in perception regarding talent acquisition from executive teams.
For decades (and still to this day), talent acquisition teams have been dropped into a cost center “box” by many executives. Considered a necessary process to fill empty jobs and follow metrics that do not actually present a competitive advantage for the organization.
Today’s candidates don’t sit around waiting for the right job; they drive their careers forward by engaging with potential employers on social and professional networking sites. Recruiters must have the tools to find these candidates, engage them with a positive candidate experience and, differentiate themselves from competitors. Very difficult to do when you are last in line for budget dollars. To really compete in the talent race, leadership must see talent acquisition teams as vital strategic partners that truly drive business goals.
In short, it was a call to all recruiters to make every effort to create a critical paradigm shift for the C-Suite. Convince them that they should be investing in the greatest competitive advantage there is – getting (and keeping) the best and brightest talent available.
In today’s business world, it is easy to focus on the product rather the people. But organizations that invest in high-performing employee recognition programs are some of the most successful, profitable and innovative companies in the world. Employees who are recognized for what they do for your enterprise have the ability to transform your organization. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace “highly engaged businesses realize a 17% increase in productivity and a 41% reduction in absenteeism.”
Most companies have some kind of employee recognition programs; however, the companies that regularly review their engagement programs, engage employees for their feedback and measure initiatives against key performance indicators, KPIs, are the companies that take employee recognition from a nice to have a program to a key strategy in their company’s overall success. As an HR leader, you are uniquely able to derive great benefits from employee recognition program. The most effective programs create a company-wide communication tool of appreciation that mirrors their organizational culture, impact, and character.
Although each company should review their culture and unique when bringing in employee recognition into their total rewards programs, below are basic KPIs that serve a great place to begin when considering your program:
Productivity: Effective employee recognition should drive a measurable impact on productivity and overall performance. Whether you measure your employee recognition program on a company, location or departmental level, start with establishing a baseline and creating a goal that may be measured by your programs influence. This measure may be determined from employee surveys or even customer stratification but investing in a tangible reward program can produce a quantifiable increase in your company’s productivity.
Employee turnover: Employees who feel recognized and valued will produce more than employees who feel unappreciated and overlooked. Most HR departments a have their employee retention rates as part of their regular reporting, but implementing an effective employee engagement program should yield a measurable drop in your voluntary turnover rate.
Employee Engagement: Assessing the quality of employee recognition programs offer the chance to regularly pivot and develop your program to keep up with the engagement curve of your workplace. Not only will regular reflection of your program drive your engagement efforts to the areas where your company may need it the most, but also serves to provide analytical data and feedback directly from your employee population.
Although these are only baseline units of measure for your employee engagement, the value and productivity can be measured in ways as unique as your organization. Your company’s investment into the framework of your employee recognition program can be the measuring stick your company has been looking to find.