It’s that time of year again – you’re throwing dates on the calendar for the upcoming year and planning those big initiatives. Employee engagement or employee experience is likely a big topic on your mind as you brainstorm ideas. There are so many things that you can do in this area, but you’ll have to focus on what is feasible. What’s going to prove valuable without blowing the budget? To help you in this exercise, the following is a framework for selecting which ideas are most appropriate and how to go about scheduling them.
Step 1: Define Goal
First things first, let’s address the goal: to increase employee engagement. But we’ve got to be more specific – what’s the current level of engagement, and what do you want to increase that to? If you conduct a baseline survey and find out that 60% of your employees feel that they are engaged at work, perhaps your goal could be to increase that to 70% by the end of 2018.
Step 2: Isolate Factors
Secondly, you need to uncover the factors affecting the goal. According to Deloitte’s Simply Irresistible Organization Model there are 5 main elements, each made up of 4 categories, that drive employee engagement. You need to determine which categories employees feel they’re missing out on, so you can focus on ideas that will directly affect those sentiments. Consider using survey data to uncover which categories have low scores, and then test different ways to improve them.
Step 3: Brainstorm Applicable Initiatives
This is the fun part – coming up with ideas for tests! If you find that employees don’t feel a sense of autonomy, perhaps Job Crafting workshops would be helpful. If a number of employees feel as though they aren’t in a job that’s right for them, as described by the selection for fit category, an idea for an initiative could be to provide career counselling sessions. If people have concerns about their team dynamics, you may want to try delivering team effectiveness activities. Or if the issue is that there is no time for slack, it might be necessary to allocate specific times for each team or department. Of course, these are simply ideas for the first element – there are many more that your team can come up with!
Step 4: Budget
This is the not-so-fun part, but it’s critical. How much will these initiatives cost, and what can you actually afford? Price out the best ideas to see which combinations of projects are possible. Think about what existing tools or materials you have that you can leverage to keep costs down. You also have to consider development and delivery time, because everything has a dollar value associated with it.
Step 5: Schedule
Now that you’ve selected which test projects you can afford, you can move onto scheduling. The easiest way to break things down is by quarterly, monthly and weekly occurrences. Things like job crafting workshops and career counselling sessions could happen on a quarterly basis. Team effectiveness activities should be more frequent, perhaps on a monthly basis. And time for slack could be scheduled weekly to keep employees productive and continuously improving ways of doing things. Again, these are just a few examples based on the first element of the Simply Irresistible model, but you can schedule as much or as little as your budget allows!
We asked 10 HR influencers which metrics they find most important to track, including employee engagement. Here's what they said.
When planning for the upcoming year, always remember to keep your goal top-of-mind. After you conduct your next engagement survey, you want to see that percentage increase so that all of your hard work pays off. Focus on the initiatives that will have the biggest impact and ensure the execution is done right. It’s better to do fewer things well than many things poorly. And don’t forget that sometimes it's the simplest things that have the biggest impact.
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