(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Workify, an all-in-one employee engagement platform that makes it easy for companies to understand and take action on what’s motivating and demotivating employees throughout the employee experience. Enjoy!)
Over the course of last year, we talked a lot about employee engagement. We’ve discussed how to effectively measure it using employee net promoter score (eNPS), the importance of setting realistic expectations for the company’s engagement efforts, and strategies for getting to the root cause of engagement issues. However, one of the biggest challenges that organizations face is not having a clear employee engagement plan for the year to guide activities. As a result, they don’t accomplish nearly as much as they wanted to (or as much as the senior management team expected).
The question becomes…how do we make employee engagement a part of our everyday activities. How does engagement become a part of culture? The answer is by creating an employee engagement roadmap. Roadmaps are plans that match short-term activities with long-term goals.
In today’s business environment, organizations create roadmaps for a variety of key processes. For example, organizations create product roadmaps. They have customer and candidate experience roadmaps. When someone is hired, the company provides the new employee with an employee roadmap.
Here’s Your 2018 Employee Engagement Roadmap
In the context of employee engagement, organizations can create roadmaps that connect their actions with their long-term goals. Here’s a sample employee engagement roadmap.
The specific activities would include:
First Quarter (Q1) – During the quarter, companies can spend their time creating an initial baseline. This gives them a place to compare results, which will come in handy later in the year. Trust me. In addition, the company can conduct their first drill down survey to get more specific details.
Second Quarter (Q2) – In this quarter, organizations could launch both new hire and exit feedback mechanisms. This allows the company to gather insights closer to real-time, which means they can address any issues faster and not allow them to fester.
Third Quarter (Q3) – At this point, six months has passed, and the organization has probably made some changes based on the drill down survey and new hire / exit feedback. Time to conduct a new baseline survey. Also, let me add that this might be a good time to give management some tools with a “Leadership 360” assessment and coaching.
Fourth Quarter (Q4) – After the new baseline, the company should follow-up with another drill down survey. Those results can be reviewed in the company’s annual operational planning session and used to update the roadmap for 2019.
All along the way, regular employee “lifecycle” or pulse surveys can be used to monitor progress. Also, organizations should always be prepared to accept and implement ad-hoc suggestions. Be prepared to try new things.
Convincing Senior Management the Company Needs an Engagement Roadmap
I completely understand that having a roadmap isn’t enough. HR has to convince the senior management team to support it. And by support, I mean not only with their words and actions but with a budget and headcount. Here are three steps to consider:
1. Show the connection between engagement and the bottom-line. We already know employee engagement is an important topic for businesses. So, I’m not going to belabor the point. If you’re looking for some data and trends, check out Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report 2017.
2. Start with getting a few key executives that are willing to be roadmap sponsors. I don’t want to say this is an easy sell, because it’s not. Organizations have strategies and resources they need to balance. But getting resources becomes an easier sell when the organization can visualize the roadmap.
3. Start small. Slowly build support and momentum. That’s how roadmaps have impact and become a part of company culture. As one HR professional to another, consider the concept of under promising and over delivering. Take a small goal, hit a home run, then go ask for more.
It’s Not Too Late to Create a Roadmap
No organization wants their investments toward employee engagement to lose value. Employee engagement is too important. By using an employee engagement roadmap, the company can stay focused, use resources wisely, and measure progress on their overall effort.
I hope you like the roadmap idea and will use it in your organization. Our friends at Workify have created a guide to help you get started. Take a look. It can be a great first step toward having a true impact on employee engagement.23