Article -> Successful Employees are Engaged and Aligned
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Date Added: November 2006
Many leaders indicate their employees are engaged; however, some do not know the level or intensity which an employee performs and produces. Knowing this is almost as much a factor to profitability as employees are to productivity. Watson Wyatt, a global HR firm, found the financial performance of organizations with highly favorable employee attitudes is nearly 4 times higher than organizations with poor employee attitudes.
Engaging and analyzing employees strengthens corporate performance, reinforces trust between leaders and employees, and enhances the overall corporate culture. This creates a positive work environment and ever-increasing productivity and profitability.
More and more organizations conduct employee satisfactions surveys; however, are surveys alone enough? Satisfaction is merely one measurement for employees. Your best performing employees may be very satisfied with their jobs; yet, are they engaged with your corporate culture?
A more comprehensive process is Voice of the Employee. This process measures employees in various areas and creates alignment within an organization. Organizations with the right people in the right roles, along with clear communication throughout, are successfully aligned.
For organizations to ensure successful employee feedback – proper execution must occur. The Voice of the Employee process helps organizations develop strategic plans and personalized training plans for employees to improve skills. Voice of the Employee incorporates three pivotal areas.
- Employee Satisfaction – Asks specific questions and quantifies feedback followed by a detailed analysis.
- 360 Degree Review – Allows employees to rate themselves, while also receiving feedback from leaders, peers and direct reports.
- Employee Engagement – Provides questions regarding areas the organization can improve and creates engagement and productivity amongst employees.
Voice of the Employee focuses not only on satisfaction, but also engagement, culture, leadership, teamwork and many other areas. In a time when recruiting the right employees is important, organizations must understand why some are engaged and some are not. Engaged employees add value because they tell others about how positive your organization is, thereby becoming your best salespeople and HR recruiters.
Though this process focuses on employees, real success begins with leadership. This reiterates the importance of organization-wide alignment. Leadership can invest in Voice of the Employee, but the defining aspect of the entire process is leadership’s ability to listen, learn and create change. This change must include keeping employees involved and up to date on corporate processes and strategies, and fulfilling the duty to make employees feel comfortable enough to respond to communication. Leadership needs to focus on the four R’s:
- Recruit – Use your engaged employees to recruit the right employees as this can save a great deal of money for your organization.
- Retrain – Provide employees with the time, resources and tools to perform their jobs effectively.
- Reward – Offer advancement opportunities and work/life balance options to reinforce a positive mind-set.
- Retention – Keep engaged employees happy as this guarantees more productivity and profitability.
Communication is a two-way process. Leaders need to ask, listen and learn; and employees need to know they are being heard.