It is worth taking a step back and looking at ourselves in 2017. We are at a point where many of us now have some kind of smartwatch/fitness tracker. These kind of devices offer:
- Real-time on demand feedback
- A way of constantly setting and tracking goals
- Opportunities for friendly competition with friends, family and colleagues
- The combination of data sources to provide full 360 degree feedback
Most of all, they give us a real time assessment of the day’s achievements. Imagine that for employee engagement…
As individuals become more empowered in other aspects of their life, it is essential that employers adapt the employee engagement process accordingly. Traditionally the role of the individual in the engagement process has been to provide their feedback, and maybe go to an action planning meeting with their manager. However we are now moving into a space where a new kind of action is required, where individuals are more empowered both to take a bigger role in the action planning process and to take some responsibility for their own engagement.
The final thing these devices encourage is personal accountability. This is something that is also pushed through social media which give us greater access to personal trainers, life coaches and motivational speakers offering up helpful tips like: “The only person you are letting down is the person in the mirror” or “skipping a workout is skipping an opportunity to improve yourselves”.
These experiences and expectations are now making their way into the workplace, with 78% of respondents to our recent HR Reflections survey stating that they believe that individuals should have some responsibility for their own engagement.
We have taken inspiration from our sister agency Transform’s work with Public Health England to create an approach which can be built into existing engagement surveys, and provide individuals with the real-time personalised feedback that they have become accustomed to. Personal engagement means taking responsibility for your own happiness and involvement, and this approach really serves as a call to action for individuals at a personal level
The key points of our approach are:
- We use an opt in functionality so if individuals feel uncomfortable with this level of personalised feedback they don’t have to have it
- The questionnaire remains the same as our advised best practice, with individual questions relating to personal engagement themes dotted in throughout the survey
- Not every question in the survey needs to be associated with personal engagement
- Once you have completed the survey you are taken straight to your personalised report which gives you tangible actions on what to do next. Your report can also be saved there and then, so you can come back to review it at a later date
- There is an opportunity to say how useful you found the report, which we can use to segment the data.
We have rolled this out with Booking.com, with 80% of their respondents opting for a report and 75% of that group stating that they found it useful.
Personal engagement works when:
- Target populations are online
- Information on how to take your engagement further is readily available
- There is an open and honest culture
- Individuals are empowered to take some control of their own engagement.
The best way to encourage accountability for personal engagement is to create an open and honest culture. People then really feel able to have the conversations to take their own engagement further, and much like wearable devices, you might even create some in-house engagement competition.