Recently, I was delighted to be asked to write the foreword for the latest engagement report form the Corporate Research Forum (CRF). Knowing how critical employee engagement is to so many of our clients, I was keen to see if this new report could stimulate new debate and discussions.
In the last year, our research in the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute has included projects on both employee listening and the development of a new measure of employee experience – the Employee Experience Index. This new Index sits alongside the important measure of engagement and it was interesting to see the dimensions of our new Index reflected in the case studies described in the CRF report. Specifically, the report highlighted the importance of work that offers a sense of accomplishment, work/family balance and opportunities to make decisions.
If you’re interested in employee engagement, listening to the voice of the employee, and understanding the employee experience, I would encourage you to take a look at the CRF report. I have summarized just a couple of the key findings here:
- For some, engagement is ‘dated’. Employee engagement is a focus area that has served numerous organizations very well for a number of years, but there is a call among many for concepts that go beyond organizational loyalty, discretionary effort and advocacy. Our own research has demonstrated that there is also value in focusing on more experiential concepts such as belonging, purpose, vigor, happiness and achievement.
- Actions must follow insights. This is a position we’ve been advocating for some time, but unless you really understand the outputs of your employee listening efforts and put plans in place to drive change, things will stay the same. The most effective organizations are not only listening, but using analytics to decipher the insights that will have the most impact. It’s not about doing a lot, but it is about doing the right things.
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