Thursday, October 29, 2009

The idea of creating a more engaged workforce is not a new idea. For decades, managers have been looking at the organizational factors, which engage (or disengage) employees. The manager, not the pay, benefits, perks, etc. was the key in building and sustaining a strong workplace.

Currently, about half the Fortune 500 companies conduct formal employee engagement surveys on a periodic basis, such as every two years. In addition, thousands of smaller companies also conduct such surveys.After thousands of surveys, a set of "best practices" actions has emerged to guide companies in conducting engagement surveys. Foremost, if you are going to conduct an engagement survey, you must have a strategy in place to implement the results.

Employees didn't believe that management had any interest in making changes based on what they said in the surveys. In short, the studies were counter-productive because the employees felt that the results were ignored. What happens if you do implement the results? Over the long run, it appears highly likely that companies who listen to their employees and implement key suggested changes see an increase in engagement, productivity, and profitability.

When companies focus on the problem, research suggests that it is possible to increase the number of engaged employees significantly, resulting in an almost corresponding increase in profitability.H ow much can you increase engagement?

The bottom line about employee engagement surveys is that they work, provided that you commit to implementing the results.