Only 49% of employees in the UK believe that action will be taken on the feedback they provide in employee surveys (Perspectives, 2016). That’s quite a statistic considering the time and effort it takes to create and implement an employee engagement programme. And if people don’t think that organisations are going to act on their opinion, how likely is it that they will give it?
Now, more than ever, is the time for action.
On Wednesday the 18th of May, the ORC International Employee Research team were joined by a range of private and public sector HR and Communications professionals at our London office. The aim of the event was to be informal and interactive, whilst providing insights for organisations who wish to create a culture of action within their workplace through best in class employee engagement programmes.
So, how do you create action? Firstly companies need to stop talking about action planning. The planning part is just one stage in the process, it’s time to stop thinking about process and start thinking about what’s required to really ensure that results embraced and used to initiate change.
Communication and implementation are key. The commitment to act needs to be established before the issues are even identified, actions need to well thought through and designed to really make a difference, ideally by a group and not an individual, and widely communicated to ensure that all team members are aware of what needs to take place and how they can make this happen.
The why behind the what is also important. Actions must be shown as connected to the results of employee opinion, and connected to the overall business outcome.
Employees should be involved in making things happen, and know that they are able to contribute to change. They should also see how they can take responsibility for their own engagement.
And our attendees had a lot to say. We wanted to share some of their experiences…
Going Digital! As part of their communications plan, one of our attendees explained how their company had launched an app in order to communicate better with staff throughout the year about changes going on with the organisation… a resounding success!
Change leaders! Another attendee told us about their company’s experience when going through major organisational changes last summer. They recruited a network of change leaders who represented their central functions. A two day workshop was delivered on the topics of change management, communication and elevated pitches. This enabled the change leaders to develop skills in assisting with the planning of global projects. The project itself has been incredibly well received and is a very successful way of implementing and embedding change. For next year, action planning with staff involvement will be one of the organisation’s key priorities.
Communicating through change! Staying with the same theme, another attendee was experiencing large amounts of change, and told us that they had anticipated their engagement would be impacted based on workforce resistance. If staff engagement was effected, it could lead to reduced retention. However, they implemented and shared a clear strategy about the changes being made and explained the reasoning behind decision-making and the benefits to the workforce, and this transparent communication style helped build engagement and helped to reduce the anticipated decline.
Building momentum! Quick turnaround time on feedback of survey results worked well for another attendee. This gave them the opportunity to set expectations around employee involvement – the timeliness demonstrated that they were responsive and set the pace within the organisation.
Authenticity goes a long way! Other voices in the room felt that being authentic and genuine proved most successful within their organisations. This has helped develop trust between senior leadership and employees. These relationships serve as the basis for encouraging job commitment, creativity, and engagement. Studies support the notion that employees are more engaged in their work when they believe they are being treated fairly.
Using your research insights to drive meaningful change – building a culture of action