Positive employee engagement is crucial for retaining your most valuable employees. As many business and HR experts tell us, there is a strong link between companies with high engagement scores and those reporting higher revenue figures.
There are a number of ways in which employee engagement can be measured. One such method is via the three 'S', which are;
- Say - What do your employees say to people about working at your firm?
- Stay – Do your employees want to stay with your firm?
- Strive – Do your employees go that extra mile for your firm?
By measuring these three elements you can get an engagement score, which allows you to monitor the movement year-on- year. If one is needed, you can also take a pulse score mid-way through the year.
The three 'S' are outputs/actions. So what actually drives employees to respond to these questions in a positive way? There are a number of factors including leadership, their line manager, and internal communications, but two of the most important elements are the processes within the firm and the tools/technology they are given to use.
To start with let's take processes. Some example questions to ask are:
- Do your employees understand the in-houses processes they are expected to follow?
- Do these processes help or hinder their ability to perform?
- Are these processes automated correctly?
Processes can strongly engage employees or frustrate them immensely. Using technology to automate work flows can eliminate or speed up some of the more mundane/less popular tasks, so employees are free to work on activities that are more satisfying and add greater value to the firm and its clients. For instance, if opening a new matter in the case management system takes 30 minutes or more, when it should take seconds, can exasperate case workers. Similarly, often generating reports can take firms days to produce, but by integrating business intelligence capabilities and processes, the organisation can easily generate customised reports – or better still, set up auto-refreshing dashboards to show the current position of their aggregated data.
So with regards to software, some example questions to ask are:
- Are you giving the correct software to employees for their role?
- Are your employees working on the most up-to-date versions of the software?
- Have you given sufficient training on how to use the software?
Employees expect to have the right software to do their job properly, so it’s not really a positive driver of engagement. However, disengagement starts when the software they use stops them from being productive.
Employees want to work on the most up-to-date versions of software, especially people in the IT department! Staff expect functionality such as reporting to be instant and available in real-time. Mobility is important, because employees want to be able to work on the go. If they find themselves unexpectedly meeting a client, they should be able to quickly access the firm’s CRM system via their mobile device to get a snapshot of the individual they are meeting, who from the firm met the person most recently, which departments are currently working with the client’s organisation and so on. Clearly, training on the software is essential, so they know how to use the systems correctly.
Employee engagement isn’t something that should be taken lightly. After all, the majority of successful companies listen and act on what their employees are saying. At LexisNexis, we take regular engagement surveys, give feedback, retain activities that engage and investigate and act on those that don’t. Not doing so can be a very costly mistake!