That the world we live and work in is changing at an extremely extraordinary pace is something a few would dispute. For business executives, in particular, there is immense pressure to not only survive in this dynamic landscape but to thrive. Continuous innovation is one of the most important strategies many companies are leaning on to beat competition and also drive growth.
Agile principles towards employee engagement would not be of much surprise then, especially with its highly impactful outcomes.
This principle of agile employee engagement can no longer be considered a minor part of a company’s growth as there has been very strong evidence to the connection between happy employees, customer satisfaction and even profits.
Beautiful enough, employee engagement has been trending upward since 2005, and as of 2018, engagement has hit a high of 34%. I am sure anyone would find that even more beautiful.
Basically, what engagement is trying to know is how affiliated or engaged employees are to the goals of an organization. Engaged employees are usually enthusiastic and highly performing, as such, they are general liked by everyone. They are highly driven to work with huge commitment and even as efficiently as possible.
Unlike the engaged ones, disengaged employees are just there to collect their salaries. They are highly apathetic to work. They put in the very minimum hours needed to keep the job. They do not sign up for extra time of work. And of course, they contribute very less creatively to the organization.
Worse still, there could be actively disengaged employees in a company, who are very harmful to have in any organization.
- They are always unhappy about everything going on in the organization, and they are not afraid to show it or even go to the extent of talking about it.
- They not only perform very low, but they also work, in a way, to discourage or undermine the performance of other employees.
- They usually complain and blame other people for their lack of career growth, salary and misery.
As a matter of fact, a study found that companies with a highly engaged workforce beat average revenue growth in their sector by 1 percent, while companies with low engagement were behind in their sector’s revenue growth by an average of 2 percent.
Truly, it is hard to argue that employee engagement can be a very real source of competitive advantage.
Can “Employee Survey” be equated to an “Engagement Program”? Maybe. Maybe not.
A broader view from a recent Gallop report found that “the most effective approach to engagement isn’t “start and stop,” instead; “it is an ongoing process that works alongside regular business activities.”
In other words, the annual employee survey is no longer enough. Achieving real results requires an agile approach, and in this case, an agile employee engagement.
The reason agile engagements seem to be so effective is that, compared to the annual survey which focuses on measuring certain opinion at that moment in time; agile programs create the chance for real-time improvements.
So, how do we start this process of agility in employee engagement?
There are tools in form of software that are very useful in this regard. They basically help employees provide direct and frequent feedbacks to managers and colleagues.
Although for true effectiveness, managers and leaders must to be ready and willing to act on any information received. Also, they must have been educated or oriented on how to act.
Obviously, this is easier said than done, but companies with a clear vision for why they exist and the ultimate impact they want to have on all clients act on these feedbacks and engage employees in a decisive way.