The research firm i4cp recently released a new report on the practices that boost employee engagement and market performance. Members can read the report here but for non-members, here is a summary of the practices that drive higher levels of engagement:
- Use onboarding to assimilate new employees into the culture - New hire orientation is a great way to engage new employees and reinforce their decision to join your company. If you’d like some more tips about getting the most out of new hire orientation, Ben Eubanks of Upstart HR fame put together a popular - and free - eBook that you can download here.
- Conduct "stay interviews" as an alternative to exit interviews - Think of it this way: Exit interviews are too late! Communication is an essential ingredient to get your engagement to rise, a bit like eggs and soufflé. High performing companies solicit feedback from both employees and managers and act on opportunities for improvement. Some companies even turn the interviews into employer branding videos.
- Personalize employee development through individual development plans - High performing companies provide career opportunities and hold managers accountable for skills development. Executive coaching was also called out as an engaging practice, as it can open doors and smooth over obstacles to have someone with chops on your side.
- Offer high-visibility assignments and strategic projects - You can’t give talented, ambitious people too many opportunities to be recognized, unless of course they are introverts. Offer opportunities to shine and be recognized, including special training and global assignments. High profile assignments may also lead to new career opportunities, which is one of the best ways to hang onto good people.
- Create a physical environment that supports creative thinking and wellness - I know this is meant seriously but it reminds me of a recent post I wrote about creative(ly annoying) workspaces: Motivating or Irritating?
- Allocate time for creative-thinking/ideation - Innovative companies like Google, Facebook and Foursquare dedicate time to personal projects and hold regular hackathons, where people from different teams collaborate intensively on software projects.
It really comes down to this: If people love what they do and the people they work with, you’re going to get a lot more return on your people investments.
There’s been a lot of research around what motivates employees, much of it here at the Compensation Café: Fairness. Opportunity. Autonomy. Recognition. Great colleagues. Communication. Inclusion. Competent leadership. Trust. A sense of adventure. A feeling of community. Etc.
Most important of all may be a feeling of ownership, because people put more time and creative energy into things that belong to them than things that belong to someone else. The engagement practices outlined above are designed to give people a sense of ownership of their company’s culture, their careers, their personal development, and their work.
I expect that’s why they correlate so highly to market performance.
Laura Schroeder is EMEA product marketing director at Workday, headquartered in Pleasanton, CA. She has nearly fifteen years of experience envisioning, designing, developing, implementing and evangelizing global Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions and holds a certificate in Strategic Human Resources Practices from Cornell University. Her articles and interviews on HCM topics have been published in the US, Europe and Asia. She lives in Munich, Germany and enjoys cooking, reading, writing, kick boxing (well, kicking things) and spending time with friends and family. If you want to read more from Laura, check out her talent management blog Working Girl or follow her on Twitter @WorkGal.
Picture courtesy of i4cp.