The GovLeaders Group is for those who are interested in growing as leaders and/or growing the next generation of leaders for the public service.
September 5, 2009 at 7:39 pm #79753
Excellent report/study from the aberdeen group which because of copyright restrictions is NOT downloadable. 39 pages of SERIOUS reading…
I have included the blog commentaries which will give all a very good feel for what is in the report.
Over the past 18 months, employee engagement has emerged as a key theme in Aberdeen’s HCM research. Mollie Lombardi at the Aberdeen Group has recently published an excellent report that not only begins to define this nebulous concept, but also gives concrete steps that managers can begin to take to engage (not just satisfy) their employees. According to Mollie:
Engagement is all about aligning individuals with the mission and priorities of the organization in order to deliver business results…engagement only really matters if it is driving business results. In fact, this is what differentiates employee engagement from employee satisfaction. Satisfaction could indicate that an individual is happy that their paycheck comes in on time, or they appreciate the fact that they have healthcare benefits that protect their family, or that their schedule doesn’t interfere with their passion for kayaking on the weekend. [Satisfaction] doesn’t necessarily reflect any connection with the priorities of the organization.
The interesting thing about this study of 450 companies, 312 of which already have engagement programs in place, is that it begins to tie employee engagement to business results. According to the study, Best-in-Class organizations (i.e. top 20% of performers on key performance indicators) are 23% more likely to use employee engagement programs to address customer needs and expectations and 55% of Best-in-Class of companies report that employee engagement is having a direct impact on revenue and/or profitability.
A couple of days ago, I posted about a report that Mollie Lombardi from the Aberdeen Group wrote on employee engagement. Richard commented:
Ultimately, engagement is about feeling involved in the business, and believing in it… The senior leadership and management team have to take a strong lead in creating an engaged workforce. If the management aren’t ‘up for it’, no amount of programs will ever make a jot of difference to the company.
As I perused through Richard’s company blog, I came across an interesting post related to this topic. It is unclear who authored the post, but there was an excellent definition of engagement and some interesting insights on the ownership of the engagement initiatives:
Employee engagement is about connecting the hearts and minds of your employees with the values and vision of your company. It’s about getting your employees to feel more connected with your company, to take greater ownership, responsibility, and go a bit further for your customers, not because you ask them to, but because they want to.
In the same way that the financial success of your company is not just the responsibility of your finance director, employee engagement is not solely the responsibility of your HR department. … No amount of HR initiatives or programs will compensate for the words and actions of your managers. That is not to say that your HR department cannot and should not play a vital role in helping your managers create higher levels of engagement with their employees, but ultimately your managers have to take responsibility for engagement.
Mollie also discusses ownership of engagement in her report. According to our data, at 43% of Best-in-Class companies, the CEO/president is the primary champion of engagement. For “all others” (i.e. the combined average and laggard performers), the primary champion is at the HR leadership level (42%).
Bottom line for CxO’s: Employee engagement is not a buzzword that can be delegated; if you believe that engagement is something that could have a demonstrable impact on your business, you have to spearhead the initiative… and get your management team to support your efforts.
Employee Engagement: Building Blocks For Success
This is my site Written by Andrew on August 25, 2009 – 9:56 pm
Continuing the discussion (1,2) on Mollie Lombardi’s report on employee engagement, I thought it might be interesting to take a step back and dig into why engagement is important from both the employee and employer point of view. The research indicates that the economy is definitely having an impact on talent plans; 43%* of respondents are focused on engagement in an effort to drive productivity and 40%* are looking to mitigating “fear, uncertainty and doubt” caused by the economic downturn. In this environment:
Organizations are trying to understand how to motivate employees while still remaining focused on the job to be done – that job is frequently getting bigger and needs to be completed faster with fewer resources.
Clearly, the professional environment is getting more complex and job roles are getting increasingly difficult. While many organizations have asked employees to “do more with less” over the past 11 months, I have often argued that this is the wrong mantra… the focus on productivity is correct, but we need to ask employees to achieve more with fewer resources. Employees approach demands for greater productivity in two ways: 1) they drive harder in order to remain employed, or 2) they strive to achieve more and become an engine of organizational success. The semantic nuance between “do more” and “achieve more” could mean the difference between deep-seeded cynicism and collaborative problem solving.
As Neil Ryder points out in a recent comment, employee engagement is not something that you can “do” without the right building blocks in place; the culture of the business needs to be conducive to evolving a highly engaged workforce. According to Mollie, Best-in-Class organizations are focused on five key capabilities to create a sustainable culture of engagement:
1. Performance goals are agreed to by managers and employees
2. Development plans are agreed to by managers and employees
3. Managers hold regular informal feedback sessions with employees on progress toward goals
4. Senior executives are bought in and fully support engagement efforts
5. Formal or Informal employee recognition programs are in place
In Chapter 3 of the report, Mollie offers an excellent set of recommendations for organizations at all levels of maturity. She also discusses the tools and technological enablers required to support engagement efforts.
Bottom Line for CxOs: If employee engagement is important to you, you need to foster and grow a culture that is conducive to a highly engaged workforce. A clear, well-articulated and consistent strategy (that is supported by the entire management team) and open, frequent and two-way communications throughout the organization are crucial building blocks for success.
Concluding Thoughts on Employee Engagement
This is my site Written by Andrew on August 31, 2009 – 11:53 pm
Over the past week or so, I have been absorbed by Mollie Lombardi’s report on employee engagement (1,2,3). Today’s post offers a few summary thoughts, until I revisit the topic again.
The concept of employee engagement is still in its nascent stages and the benefits are still largely qualitative. While 82% of the Best-in-Class report that employee engagement has had an impact on revenue and/or profitability, only 27% can validate the impact with data. To ensure a long-term organizational commitment, it is imperative for HR professionals and business champions to underpin employee engagement initiatives with with standardized, repeatable and quantitative measures. Minimally, yearly measurement programs need to be put into place to assess the impact of employee engagement initiatives. Furthermore, managers should receive training and have access to the appropriate tools to support their efforts.
Best-in-Class organizations have deployed a number of tools and technologies to support their employee engagement initiatives:
* Employee surveys (81%)
* Tools to track employee referrals (53%)
* Skills assessments (51%)
* Development plan management tools (46%)
* Behavioral / personality assessments (36%)
While many of these tools seem pretty common, there is a wide disparity between Best-in-Class and Average/Laggard adoption (page 15 of the report). In the concluding paragraph of the report, Mollie summed it up very nicely:
Engagement is not a single tool or a single strategy, or the job of a single leader or entity within the organization. It is a mindset and a way of thinking about how organizations execute on all human capital initiatives and process, and all interactions with employees… Engagement must be nurtured every day in small and large ways.
Bottom line for CxOs: Do yourself a favor, if you are thinking about implementing or expanding an employee engagement strategy, do it right. Invest in making sure you have the right capabilities in place, invest in the right tools and make sure your management team is fully on-board… and see it through. The last thing that your business needs is another half implemented, buzzword-compliant, initiative.
You can download a free copy of the report here (available until the end of Sept 2009 – registration required).
September 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm #79755
Henry, I really enjoyed reading this article. It comes at a prefect time with what is happening at my agency. Again, I really enjoyed this article.
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