According to Gallup, only 15% of employees are engaged in their work in a meaningful way. Only 15% are contributing to the success (and the profits) of their company.
With results like that, it's hard to argue with the investment return in people and in HR as a strategic partner to your success.
Opportunities to engage your staff and to create an engaged workforce are becoming as important as opportunities in the marketplace.
This means that if you want to be successful in today's marketplace, it's critical to focus on your people and getting them engaged. If you're not doing this right now, it's a great opportunity to include it as one of your strategic priorities.
How can you move from listing values to fostering engagement and inspiring action?
Many times organizational values can be flat, uninspiring, or don't really communicate anything special. Other organizations have values that sound inspirational, but the leadership team doesn't reward them or live them. Crafting values that support your organization's vision and mission (that are bought into by your team) is a crucial part of the strategic planning process. When done with attention and care, positive impacts such as increased engagement, productivity, alignment and accountability may occur.
How can you tell if your team is engaged?
Engagement means that everyone that works for your company cares about the outcome of their work. It means that employees look forward to coming to work and contributing to something worthwhile and larger than themselves. It means they are challenged at work and they view their jobs as more than a pay cheque. They play as a team and value the contributions from other team members.
I could go on...
Are your employees passionate about coming to work? If no, you might have low employee engagement
How to improve employee engagement and improve culture as part of your strategic plan:
1. Assess your leadership capacity
Employee engagement starts with the leaders of the organization. Part of that engagement comes from a strategic plan that is in alignment with staff expectations and strengths, while part of it having good leaders to follow. Are you someone that's worth listening to and worth following? If not, then improving your leadership capacity is a good first step
2. Live the organizational values
Are your values a set of principles that live on your wall or in a document, or are they a set of behaviours that dictate the organization as a whole? These values, when lived and rewarded, help weed out people that don't fit within the culture as well as help establish norms for those that do.These cultural norms act as guidelines that help employees understand the types of actions and behaviours that are rewarded and supported by the organization. This empowers them to make their own decisions and be confident with the results of their actions.
Without clear values (or worse, contradicting values), employees are left second guessing themselves with what they should be doing or potentially not understanding the importance of their role within the company.
3. Foster communication
No ones likes being left out of a conversation. It creates (negative) opportunities for stories and interpretations that take employees away from being present and engaged. If you don't communicate with your team and with your organization about how they contribute to the success of the organization or about future plans of the organization, they are left to interpret and possible misinterpret information, taking their focus outside of the organization.
Communicating doesn't just mean talking, it means opening doors to listen to the concerns of your people. If you want to create a cohesive team and an engaged workforce, then you need to care and not just act like you care. Be a team, and you'll have people that will stand for you.
4. Be adaptable to change
No one really likes change, but change is inevitable. In order to keep your people engaged, you need to prepare them for change, and equip them to be successful in the new version of the future. If you don't help them be successful with the change, they will resist the change, and make your job much harder.
In this article from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, they share research about the role of HR and how you can work through the development of your SME from an HR lens.
Your organization is going to change and adapt, there's no doubt about it. It's a matter of if you're prepared for these changes as part of your strategic plan and business strategy. By getting your people on board with your strategy, and helping them be successful you'll be able to reap the full rewards of a change management program and a new business strategy.
Before you can fully execute your strategic plan, you need to put the pieces in place to support your employees to have them be as engaged as possible.
- Being a leader
- Living your values
- Being adaptable to change.
If you can do those four things to help develop an engaged workforce, it will pay dividends on your strategic plan, organizational culture, and on the bottom line of your organization.
Are you looking to create better employee engagement as part of your strategic plan?
Learn about how working with a facilitator can help you maximize the benefits of your next strategy meeting: