TIPS ON IMPROVING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION1

Document Sample
TIPS ON IMPROVING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION1 Powered By Docstoc
					Louisiana Department of Civil Service                     Volume Two, Issue 14: May 2007
_____________________________________________________________________________________________


    In This Issue:                                So, what can you do to engage your
                                                  employees and make them stay? In a survey
           Tips on Improving Employee             by Career Systems International, employees
           Engagement and Retention – p. 1        were asked to rank job satisfaction factors
                                                  that were important to them. The top five
           Guidelines on Using                    (out of 20) were in order of preference
           Competencies – p. 3
                                                      1.   Exciting, challenging work
           Gallup Poll on Worker                      2.   Learning and development
           Satisfaction – p. 4                        3.   Working with great people
                                                      4.   Fair pay
                                                      5.   Great boss
    TIPS ON IMPROVING EMPLOYEE
    ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION1                     It is interesting to note that pay is more of a
                                                  “go” factor than a “stay” factor. That is, an
Employee engagement is a hot topic                employee may leave if pay is not sufficient,
nowadays because it is a key driver of            but beyond a certain point it is not an
organizational productivity. A recent study       incentive to stay.
by the Hay Group found that offices with
engaged employees were up to 43% more                        QUOTE OF THE DAY
productive based on comparisons of revenue        “If you don't like something, change it. If
generated.                                        you can't change it, change your attitude.
                                                  Don't complain.” – Maya Angelou
Actively engaged employees are those who
work with passion because they feel a strong
bond and commitment to the organization           Here are some questions you can ask to
they work for. Yet, a study by Gallup®            determine how well your organization is
Management shows these statistics for the         engaging employees:
current workforce:
                                                      1. Do employees feel as if what they
•    29% of employees are actively engaged               are doing is important? Are they
     in their jobs                                       connected to the organization’s
                                                         goals?
•    54% are not engaged
•    17% are actively disengaged


                                                                                                    1
   2. Do employees understand their role?      contributions to the vision are recognized
      Have expectations of what is wanted      and rewarded.
      from them been made clear to them?
                                               Start during orientation and onboarding of
   3. Do employees feel as if they are         new employees. Educate new employees
      advancing in their careers? Are they     about and promote the organization’s
      growing, developing and improving        programs for rewarding and recognizing
      themselves?                              achievement and contribution to
                                               organizational goals and vision as part of
   4. Are employees getting frequent and       their orientation.
      regular informal feedback on
      performance in addition to an annual     Do “stay” interviews. Instead of waiting
      performance evaluation?                  until employees leave and doing an exit
                                               interview, be proactive. Ask employees
   5. Does the employee have a good            what you can do to retain them. With the
      relationship with his immediate          “stay” interview, you are gathering
      supervisor?                              information while you still have an
                                               opportunity to act on it and engage an
   6. Does the organization have strong        employee before he or she leaves.
      values, a compelling vision, and
      inspirational leadership?                Promote employee wellness. Many
                                               organizations are implementing employee
                                               wellness programs and systems for
Some additional tips on specific actions to    encouraging or rewarding employees who
take are:                                      stay healthy and safe. The idea is to show
                                               employees that the organization cares about
Show appreciation for employees by making      their wellbeing. Also, healthy employees
time to talk to them about their work          that feel good are more productive and less
individually. What do they like about their    costly in terms of health insurance benefits
current job the most? The least? Are there     paid out and absentee days. Some examples
talents they have that you are not using?      that companies have used are incentives to
What learning opportunities would they be      quit smoking or lose weight and free or
interested in or what skills would they like   discounted gym memberships.
to develop? What types of projects would
they like to work on?                          Give special recognition when employees
                                               graduate from training courses. Training
Recognize specific achievements as early as    and development is a key motivator to
possible in their careers. Providing an        engage and retain employees. It also helps
award or recognition to outstanding            to recognize achievement in this area.
employees within the first 90 days of          Recognizing employees in some official
employment can be a powerful motivator.        way every time they graduate from a course
But the recognition or award should be         is a growing trend. This could be done by
visibly tied to contribution toward the        announcing them at some organizational
organization’s vision and strategic goals.     function, providing certificates, publishing
That way the employee sees that the vision     names in an organizational newsletter, etc.
is not just something on paper and that



                                                                                              2
1
 Information in this article is taken from “Five Ways      important to consider in any
to Strengthen Your Engagement and Retention                application such as recruitment,
Strategies,” Adrienne Hedger, Workforce
Management (April 23, 2007)
                                                           training or workforce planning.

                                                        2. Many organizations stop at this
                                                           point. But Dr. Sullivan points out
 WORKFORCE PLANNING MAXIM OF                               that in our fast-changing world,
                THE DAY                                    organizations must be prepared to
“Imagination is more important than                        adjust the competencies identified to
knowledge.” – Albert Einstein                              meet changing technological
                                                           developments or other changes in the
                                                           work environment or customer
          GUIDELINES ON USING                              needs. As time goes on, the
            COMPETENCIES                                   competencies that led to success in
                                                           the past may change in importance.
A reader recently posed this question to                   Continually review your competency
Workforce Management magazine: “How                        list. Try to predict future skill sets
do I draw up a competency map that aids                    that will be needed and identify
our workforce planning?”                                   “future competencies” that your
                                                           organization will need to be
In response, Dr. John Sullivan2 offers some                successful in the next ten years.
guidelines. He notes that when
organizations try to implement competency               3. Prioritize and weight competencies
profiling or mapping (determining the                      to obtain a core competency list. All
competencies necessary for jobs) broadly in                mission-critical jobs should be filled
recruiting, training and development,                      by persons who possess these in
succession planning and workforce                          various degrees.
planning, they usually end up frustrated
because the implementation becomes too                  4. Adapt the overall list to individual
complex and confusing. He advises starting                 job families or functions. For each
with a narrow scope and providing                          job family or function the goal is to
directions to managers to use competency                   determine the level of mastery of the
profiles as guides rather than absolutes. He               competency needed. At the end of
also recommends these steps.                               the process each job family or
                                                           function should be covered by no
    1. Identify the competencies that                      more than eight competencies.
       differentiate top performers from
       average ones. Look at some top                   5. Once you have refined competencies
       performers and some average                         with a set unique to each job family
       performers in your organization.                    or function, you then need to further
       What are the “differentiator”                       refine the definitions so they are
       competencies that the top performers                clear and easy to measure the
       have and the average performers do                  mastery of. This is the hardest step
       not have? Think of some failed                      to accomplish and the one most often
       employees. What competencies did                    ignored by organizations. Dr.
       they lack? It is these “differentiator”             Sullivan advises defining four or five
       competencies that are the most


                                                                                                3
        key behaviors that characterize each          Job Characteristic                % Satisfied
        competency; the behaviors should be
        measurable and demonstrate mastery            Amount of on the job stress                22
        of the competency. Furthermore, the           Amount of money you earn                   31
        definitions should be tested to make          Chances of promotion                       37
        sure everyone who will be affected            Recognition for accomplishments            47
        by them interprets them the same              Your immediate supervisor                  55
        way.                                          Job security                               55
                                                      Flexibility of hours                       60
    6. Finally, convince managers to use              Relations with co-workers                  67
       the competencies in hiring,                    3
       development, promotion and                      Go to www.gallup.com for more information on the
                                                      poll.
       performance assessments. This is
       not always easy. Make sure there is                               CREDITS
       a process to reward and compensate             Editor: Max Reichert, Workforce Planning
       individuals who possess and                    Assistant Division Administrator (email:
       demonstrate mastery of these                   max.reichert@la.gov)
       competencies.
                                                      Issued: Monthly
2
 Dr. John Sullivan, professor and head of the Human
Resource Management, College of Business at San       Purpose: The purpose of the Workforce
Francisco State University. Workforce Management,     Horizons is to educate readers about workforce
March 16, 2007                                        planning issues and best practices, inform them
                                                      about upcoming Civil Service workshops and
                                                      training related to workforce planning and to
    GALLUP® POLL ON WORKER                            provide practical job aids to assist agencies with
         SATISFACTION                                 workforce planning.

Gallup’s most recent poll3 on work and the            Comments and submissions: We welcome
work place (August 2006) asked employees              questions about workforce planning and
to evaluate their current jobs on a number of         suggestions for improvements to the newsletter
job characteristics by indicating on a four           as well as submissions of articles about what
point scale whether they were completely              your agency is doing in workforce planning.
satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat               Questions, comments, and requests to be added
dissatisfied or completely dissatisfied.              to the distribution list for the newsletter should
                                                      be sent to the editor.
Here are the results for several job                  Current and Back Issues are accessible under
characteristics related to employee retention.        “Workforce Planning Newsletter”
The percentages shown are for employees               in the HR Reference section of the Civil Service
indicating they were completely satisfied             web page at www.civilservice.louisiana.gov
with their current job on that characteristic.




                                                                                                           4