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5 Ways to Craft the Ultimate Employee Engagement Strategy

By Betterworks
3 minute read
Updated on May 15, 2019
5 Ways to Craft the Ultimate Employee Engagement Strategy

To put it in simple terms, annual engagement surveys are ineffective. In some cases, they do more harm than good to employee engagement. Collecting feedback and people analytics at a single point in time about what transpired over the full course of the year is simply insufficient.

  • Annual engagement surveys are inaccurate. They only really give employers a snapshot of how their employees are feeling at the time of the survey, not what the employee was feeling at key intervals throughout the year.
  • Annual engagement surveys are time-consuming. A typical annual engagement survey contains 100 questions (or more!). This is because employers are trying to cover 365 days (workdays and weekends) into one singular questionnaire. The survey drastically reduces productivity because it takes workers extended periods of time to complete it.
  • Annual engagement surveys don’t lead to lasting change. An employer’s impulse to negative feedback from employees is likely to try to put an immediate band-aid on the problem. The reality of annual engagement survey failure is this: positive change needs time and proper, continuous nurturing to grow and develop.
  • Annual engagement surveys don’t give a clear picture. The truth is this: employees may not provide the most truthful answers, even if the survey is anonymous.

The annual engagement survey needs to be replaced with a real-time, ongoing engagement strategy. The need for this type of strategy exists because engagement is as diverse in its needs as your employees are in their unique perspectives. To more accurately take the temperature of employee engagement, satisfaction and morale each year, a real-time continuous assessment process is needed for your engagement strategy.

Based on The Simply Irresistible Organizational Framework by John Bersin and Deloitte Insights, here are 5 ways to ditch the annual engagement survey and build the ultimate engagement strategy:

Meaningful Work

Creating meaningful work means powering up your employees with increased autonomy, decision-making and freedom to govern their role. People become less productive without a defined purpose for their efforts. Giving them mastery over their role enables them to reach higher, develop their skills and feel empowered and important in the work they do.

How to replace your annual engagement survey strategy with this:

  • Create actionable insights and a progressive goal-setting track from employee feedback. Enable growth and development within their job function and the workplace as a whole.

Hands-On Management

The role of management in improving engagement strategies comes in many different stages: goal-setting, coaching and mentorship, leadership development and performance management. What each of these has in common is they also focus on engaging management in the same way as employees. They’re employees and people of the company too!

How to replace your annual engagement survey strategy with this:

  • Structure layers of development programs to give managers the ability to grow, train others and facilitate further growth and development. More importantly, invest in the development of management and employee teams.

Positive Work Environment

It’s a fact: positive, flexible, diverse and inclusive work environments improve employee engagement, satisfaction and morale. Employees want to feel welcome and accepted in their workplace, and only real-time feedback and continuous conversation can provide the solution.

How to replace your annual engagement survey strategy with this:

  • Build 360-degree feedback between management and employees. Sparking these conversations opens trust-building relationships and transparency to scale across your entire organization.

Growth Opportunity

Employees want to grow and develop. No one wants to feel stuck in their job with no way to advance or learn new skills. Providing them training and support on the job, facilitated talent mobility and self-directed, dynamic learning adds value to their role and diversifies their skills. In other words, it’s the foundation of re-emphasizing the value of employee’s continued growth.

How to replace your annual engagement survey strategy with this:

  • Create a high-impact learning culture for employees to cross-train, develop new and existing skills and obtain new technology certifications.

Trust in Leadership

Employees need a strong mission and purpose to drive their passion. Who doesn’t love feeling proud of their work? This mission and purpose promotes continuous investment in people. More importantly, the mission needs transparency and honesty to drive true, organic inspiration in employee hearts and minds. All of these elements tie back to the key concept of trust – that employees can trust their leaders to direct the mission and value of the work they do.

How to replace your annual engagement survey strategy with this:

  • Design a universal mission for your business and the work you achieve. Use it to inspire your workforce to believe in the company, adding fulfillment to their roles within it.

Real-time, actionable and continuous surveys, engagement efforts and insights help build trust and rapport with employees because they show employees that you’re investing in their job satisfaction. The key to employee feedback is listening with the intent of doing – creating lasting change and being open and transparent when certain things can’t change. Employees are more engaged when they feel valued in their role, in the work they do and as a part of their team.

Betterworks Engage’s real-time, mobile engagement solutions connect your workforce to create SMART insights, better engagement strategies and an improved employee experience. See the power of mobile, on-the-go employee engagement!