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Listen up Singapore Business Leaders: Here’s How to Get Your Team to be All-in

3 stakeholder groups you must consider to succeed in employee engagement initiatives

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BY Bill McMurray - 23 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Employee engagement directly affects a company’s bottom line, productivity, and future success.

Having a robust employee engagement program in place not only increases engagement levels and satisfaction but more importantly reduces the cost of having to replace and retrain new employees. Engaged employees tend to function more efficiently and are less likely to leave a company. According to PwC, for example, engaged employees are 87% less likely to quit. To find and train a replacement, companies will need to spend the equivalent of anything between six to nine months of an employee’s salary, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Companies in Asia are getting the message. They are developing differentiated employee value propositions (EVP) to appeal to different employees, according to a recent Total Remuneration Survey by Mercer. The most important thing is to ensure that such programs are implemented company-wide, with the support of executives, of course.

To be successful in implementing employee engagement initiatives, here are three key stakeholder groups that leaders must consider:

1. Senior leadership

Attaining company-wide commitment for an employee engagement program begins at the top, and it is essential to have a committed executive sponsor for any initiative to move forward.

Presenting the value to senior leadership in a clearly defined manner, with a summary of potential action items and how it affects the company’s bottom line, may assist program drivers in getting support from their company’s executive team.

2. People managers

People managers are critical because they can drive change with direct reports, often more effectively than senior executives. However, one of the biggest challenges for companies is getting people managers to feel involved in and act on employee engagement data and initiatives.

Managers have responsibilities to both individual employees and the overall financial goals. Clearly communicating company vision, goals, and important metrics will attract people managers to become involved in the engagement program, especially if they have a very clear view of the metrics and progress through live dashboards.

3. Employees

Failure comes at a cost. If an engagement initiative begins but fails, engagement rates among employees may fall lower than they were before the unfinished initiative started.

Build trust among employees with open communication. An annual company-wide survey once a year, while important, will no longer cut it. To succeed at creating real change, businesses should consider having multiple channels for employees to provide feedback when they feel the need to share. Then, businesses should communicate an action plan to address these feedback in real time.

Choose a communication method that works best for the company’s culture and employees. Ongoing training must be provided for each group involved, from planning strategy to collecting employee feedback, ensuring that information is kept flowing and that each group is focused on keeping the program sustainable.

In sum, once the results of the engagement or pulse surveys are published, program drivers must share the results, including recommending actions that managers and leaders should take. By communicating action plans and measuring success with pulse surveys, employees will recognize the value of an engagement program.

Bill McMurray is Managing Director, Asia-Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics