The engaged employee's behavior and performance demonstrate a willingness to invest discretionary effort and emotional equity beyond nominal expectation. In other words, an engaged employee is one who "lives" rather than merely "does" the job.
Employee engagement is a critical contributor to organizational success. Recognizing the importance of engagement, many organizations utilize an employee survey for measuring it. But are they getting more from their effort than numbers and graphs? Why merely gauge it, when you can change it?
Why merely gauge it, when you can change it?"
The Observer-Expectancy Effect poses a significant challenge to any research study. Simply stated, "noticing" leads to "improving." While that may be a puzzle in research, it's a "wonderful problem" in the real world.
Instead of trying to minimize this effect, we purposefully emphasize this effect as it relates to employee engagement. In this case, the employee engagement survey becomes engaging.
Good employees want to be heard. Good managers want to listen. A "corporate conversation" is more than an exchange of words, it is a catalyst for value and validation. It reinforces all the right reasons for employees to engage. And when just "doing" becomes joyful "living," wonderful things can happen!
Engagement drivers have been the subject of exhaustive research. Opinions differ and diverge, but the drivers will always distill into four distinct elements:
Employees are individuals, each unique as snowflakes or grains of sand. But employees are persons, possessing common desires in unique proportion.
People want to get things done, with people they like, and they want to gain respect, influence and control of their lives…and they want the freedom to perform in a way that they can contribute their very best.
Employees are persons possessing common desires in unique proportion"
So what do my employees want? And what precludes or inhibits those desires? Or, to consider those questions at a strategic level: What are the barriers to engagement in my workforce? And what is the cost in terms of minimal performance and missed opportunity?
The employee engagement survey uncovers the barriers to better engagement. And a Perceptyx engagement survey also builds the drivers of engagement into the observations and recommendations used in manager action planning, providing targeted solutions for identified problems. This balance between organizational effectiveness, engagement indicators and the antecedents of performance outcomes, provides every manager at every level a unique look at the issues most likely to influence and transform performance.
The Indicators, or measures, of Engagement are different than the Drivers of Engagement. If we think of the Drivers as "the accelerator," then the Indicators are "the speedometer." The primary Indicators of employee engagement are:
While we can measure the indicators of engagement, they are, in a sense, a form of hindsight. Engagement indicators identify where we have been, but like hindsight, they are at best, a fuzzy predictor of where we are going.
If we think of the Drivers as "the accelerator," then the Indicators are "the speedometer.""
It is important to monitor engagement indicators. They give us essential feedback, and inform us about necessary course corrections. When we use the information correctly, we can plot the course most likely to effect positive change.
Using the employee engagement survey to uncover barriers to engagement enables leaders to see where we've been.
Building the drivers of engagement into the recommendations that fuel action planning efforts allows leaders to anticipate and improve the future.
When managers make informed course corrections, combining employee feedback and their clear view of life in the trenches, the result is a proven increase in levels of engagement and organizational performance.
While we provide benchmarks for comparison of the organization's results to high performing organization norms, we do not stop there. By using the benchmark to identify norms that go far beyond the simple comparison of scores, we help identify differences in organizations that make a difference.
There are good insights that come from the straight comparison of survey data to the benchmark. However, when looking deeper into the data, there is even more to be found in subtle variations between items of benchmarks versus the survey data. We use our comprehensive and up to date normative data to create meaningful benchmarks to provide additional value. When communicating back to employees the results of the survey, it is important to show that their opinions matter most. We encourage the use of benchmarks for:
The Perceptyx benchmark approach is the result of years of engagement survey experience. This experience has provided a unique view on how benchmarks should be used in organizations. To frame our approach, imagine how employees feel to learn that there will only be actions taken if the employees of others organizations have higher scores? After looking at past data, perhaps what matters most to your employees is where the organization is now, where it needs to be and what can be done about it?
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. - Ralph Waldo Emerson"
By using comparisons to a benchmark we provide insight at the executive level; by realizing strengths and opportunities, we can then act. Using benchmarks at the manager levels should be avoided unless employees understand that their opinions matter most. Otherwise, benchmarks may become “engagement poison”.