Recent data published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has highlighted that less than four in ten employees (39%) claim to be engaged at work. With benefits to be experienced by staff, organisations and customers alike if employees are engaged, this trend is something that needs to be addressed.
Considering this recent CIPD revelation, Cascade’s HR manager and CIPD member Donna Larvin comments: “Engagement is inextricably linked to performance, morale and retention, so it is imperative that organisations develop stronger mechanisms for motivating and inspiring their staff.
“At the same time, employees have roles and responsibilities to fulfil, so it is important to consider whether they are equally committing to their side of the working relationship.”
Engagement has long been an area of focus for Cascade when working with clients to ensure technology adds the greatest possible value to their organisations. As a result there are numerous ways that Cascade’s proactive fully-integrated HR and HMRC-recognised payroll software, can be utilised to enhance engagement and in turn organisational performance:
Analyse the skills and competencies that various employees hold, to confirm if they are in fact fully equipped to effectively undertake the different elements of their job. If you suspect they could benefit from further training, devise learning plans to encourage their continued development. This indicates a sign of commitment towards staff, should heighten employees’ workplace motivation and supports their career progression
Communicate regularly with employees so that you have an open and honest environment, and two-way dialogue which allows you to learn from one another. Show that you appreciate their input too, and be open-minded as to the benefits of a collaborative working environment
· Empower line managers via self service and encourage them to develop stronger working relationships and rapport with their team
· Ensure appraisals are carefully structured exercises rather than activities that are rushed, delayed or ignored. If targets are set, remember to monitor progress and follow up as agreed, otherwise the whole process will appear worthless. Reviews also allow hard work to be recognised and further action points to be devised if improvements are necessary
· Utilise your software to identify and analyse absence patterns. If certain individuals are illegitimately taking too many days off work, this could be having a negative impact on the workload and morale of other employees. Furthermore it could indicate that managers are detached from what is actually going on in the workplace, which may heighten staff disengagement
· Consider utilising Cascade’s staff survey tool, to better comprehend what makes employees tick and understand whether the engagement strategy needs to be enhanced
· Think about what motivates your employees – could you afford a small financial reward if your performance is improving, or would the workforce benefit from an out-of-office teambuilding day?
· As a Cascade client you are invited to annual HR and payroll-focused user groups where you can learn more about our software, ask questions of Cascade’s development and client services teams, and interact with fellow Cascade clients to share best practice. Make best use of such learning opportunities. We plan our user groups carefully in order to deliver knowledge-transfer sessions that address real industry issues, and engagement is just one of the topics we can cover
· Don’t be afraid of the need to improve. The world’s most successful organisations are those that stay true to their company values, but do not stand still.
These simple steps to improving engagement levels do not need to cost the earth. In fact better-engaged staff who are more inclined to go the extra mile for their employers, are likely to achieve greater cost-efficiencies for organisations in the process.
If steps have already been taken to implement the above suggestions it is important to think outside the box too. For example, would your company benefit from a degree of cultural evolution and if so, do you need to think about devising and implementing a change management programme?
Remember as well that what motivates some employees will not necessarily engage others, as we pointed out in our generation Y comment earlier in the year. This reiterates that engagement relies on strong and regular communication, and is undoubtedly most effective in organisations that have a continuous improvement philosophy.
Consider what other helpful resources are available. The CIPD for instance is also holding its performance management conference in London on 11-12 October, which will consider engagement as part of the overall programme of events.
Finally, ask for help if you think your organisation could benefit from a closer look at engagement, and possibly a review of your engagement strategy. The Cascade team of experts is on hand to advise how HR and payroll technology can encourage greater staff engagement, simply call 0113 255 4115 or email [email protected] and we will be happy to tell you more.