Often the greatest employee engagement obstacles involve action planning. 63% of HR professionals we surveyed implement a combined top-down and bottom-up approach (with 16% focussing on corporate action and 16% focussing on local actions only). However, companies report that getting the business to truly take ownership of action plans is the single biggest engagement challenge.
Our latest original HR insight paper: ‘How to maximise survey success through action planning’ explores critical areas for successful action planning. To encourage manager and employee accountability, we suggest:
· Consulting with stakeholders from the start; their involvement will mitigate perceptions that ‘engagement’ is something being forced upon them from the top.
· Developing a consistent action planning approach but allowing local areas to ‘tweak’ the process to suit their context.
· Providing organisational support to managers (e.g. bespoke reports, workshops, survey surgery sessions, action plan toolkits)
· Considering integrating engagement scores into performance objectives.
Engagement cannot be fully embedded until it is owned by managers and employees. We spoke to AXA, who are working towards individual ownership of action plans. Employees will be supported to drive local actions forward and progress will then monitored through continuous dialogue in 1 to 1s and team meetings. Internal communications will help by celebrating successes and recognising individuals who drive actions forward.
These measures help prevent action planning becoming a ‘tick box’ exercise and is a positive step to facilitating actions that will improve levels of engagement.
The companies with the most successful ‘mature’ action planning approaches haven’t developed them overnight. It takes time, resource and planning. It must be embedded across the organisation. And to get this level of endorsement, you must communicate to managers and employees how it will benefit them.
Companies achieving a mature employee survey process will be able to take relevant, targeted actions that will help drive business change and improve performance.