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How to increase Employee engagement

How to Increase Employee Engagement – Five Important Tips

We know how everyone says that a company’s workforce is its biggest asset. However, to see this idea from the prism of performance, it will reveal that not every employee is an asset. Employees that perform well are assets; those who don’t are more of a liability. Is there an easy way of transforming your liabilities into assets? Maybe not. But if you start any such exercise, engagement will be the first and an indispensable part of this process.

Employee engagement is essential to a company’s success as disengaged employees mostly show negative performance metrics. If employees feel disconnected and unenthusiastic about their work, they would surely not be putting their maximum efforts which would reflect in their performance and at the end, would prove detrimental to a company’s bottom line. An HR’s role is not only to formulate and enforce company policies or recruit new candidates but also to make sure that the existing employees feel good about the work they are doing and the space they are in. So now the question comes, how to improve employee engagement in an organisation?

Make each employee feel valued and engaged to improve employee engagement

An organization that supports multicultural workforce, where employees are from all walks of life, it is difficult to create a one-fit-applies-to-all employee engagement strategy. Treat each employee as an individual and tailor fit your approach by identifying behavioral traits and individual aspirations. For multinational companies where there are thousands of employees working out of different locations, this exercise may be a bit difficult but not impossible.
Conducting employee surveys is one way of assessing their individual tendencies. Depending on the end goals, the data collected from the surveys can be analyzed to identify the red flags, the roadblocks, the career interests, personal likes & dislikes, career aspirations of the individual employees. This data than can be shared with the respective managers to match the work of each employee with their skills, interest and comfort. Individual personality assessments are an easy way of making each employee feel valued and aligning their goals with the company’s goals.

(Also Read: Human Resources Trends for 2018)

Use of technology is one of the ways of increasing employee engagement

The right technology can be one of the most important drivers of employee engagement. Whether it is the career site which shows genuine stories of employees thriving in the workplace, or an HRMS that also allows employees to have a direct conversation with the concerned HR, the role of technology in increasing employee engagement is paramount. Chatbot is another innovation that can actually disrupt the entire employee-HR communication channel.

Equipped with natural language processing and machine learning, these chatbots will answer all employee queries, will grow intelligent in their responses with time through AI and most importantly communicate with them in real time, as and when required. There will always be some employees that will be more comfortable with a chatbot communication rather than a face to face interaction. Modern technology promises to cover all bases. Using gamification is another method of employee engagement that makes tasks appear more exciting and fun.

(Also Read: What is the Impact of Technology on Recruitment?)

Providing learning opportunities to employees is a powerful employee engagement initiative

Promoting a culture where employees are motivated to learn new skills and continuously work towards their professional development is great not only for increasing their productivity but also for fostering a collaborative culture. Where there is collaboration, engagement follows automatically. The more the employees are confident that their employer is interested in building their capabilities, the higher will be their trust and engagement. However, most employers consider budget a constraint in implementing such large scale training programs. Cross training is a simple exercise where employees teach other some aspects of their job. Workers learn to perform other people’s responsibilities in addition to their own. Investing in such activities increases camaraderie amongst employees, build loyalty and promotes engagement.

Listening to employee feedback is a good exercise to improve employee engagement

As per the Aon Global Employee Engagement report, effective leaders listen to the feedback of their employees and then act on it. This is why most organizations are now doing away from the once-in-a-year performance review and replacing it with a quarterly or a six monthly review of performance and feedback session. This helps in addressing problems quickly and also provides a boost to employee confidence.
Wherever there is a gap between expectations and performance, an HR needs to have an open and transparent communication with the employee to understand the hurdles and roadblocks they are facing. They need to bridge the communication gap between the manager and the employee without taking sides. The last bit is important as employee may suffer from a preconceived notion that HR will give more attention to the manager’s view than his own. It is the responsibility of the HR to dispel any such fear from the mind of the employee and give him an equal opportunity platform to voice his concerns, challenges and areas of development. This is what true engagement is all about.

(Also Read: Purpose of Having a Dedicated Employee Referral Program)

Employee recognition is a meaningful HR activity to improve employee engagement

Lastly, the HR should run employee recognition and reward programs. High performing employees should be highlighted and rewarded with public recognition, not only to make them feel happy for their success but to set an example for other employees. The HR should define clear incentives and rewards for employees that consistently outperform and exceed expectations. These rewards may not be limited to monetary gains or a promotion.
Recognizing small achievements are equally important and in fact, more valuable when the goal is to get other employees motivated and engaged. Publicly calling out such achievers is the easiest and quite impactful way of making them feel special. Small gifts like gift certificates, souvenirs or movie tickets also help. Remember, the goal is to generate enough excitement amongst employees that they start engaging and working with greater zeal than before.

(Also Read: Disruptive HR Practices in 2018: What is changing for HR?)

 

You Need a Dedicated Employee Referral Software

Purpose of Having a Dedicated Employee Referral Program

Employee Referral is one of the most reliable sources of hiring as the candidates hired through referrals stay longer and generally perform better than their colleagues. Therefore, any smart recruiter would try to maximize the number of candidates he could gain through employee referrals.  However, the big challenge that HRs face is getting employees to refer candidates. Can referral software change that?  Let’s examine.

Role of employee referrals in recruitment

There is no arguing to the fact that employee referral is the solution to every recruiter’s woes. Search about employee referrals and you will chance upon not one but many researches and surveys that confirm the superiority of employee referrals as a source of hiring over all other sources. Let us have a look at some statistics in this context, all of them available in the public domain.

 

Why Interview Sources Matter in Hiring: Exploring Glassdoor Interviews Data

This report based on a sample of more than 440,000 job interview reviews presents numerical evidence on how different sources of interviews impact the chances of a successful job match. The research concluded that employee referral is most likely to lead to an accepted job offer, with the probability of successful job match rising by a significant 2.6 to 6.6 percent.

However, referrals account for a meager 10 percent of reported job interviews whereas 42% of hired candidates applied online.

 

SilkRoad’s Sources of Hire Research 2017

Employee referral reigns as the best source of hiring. It is also the top internal source of hire with a 45% success rate which is a 5% increase from last year.

 

The Value of Hiring Through Employee Referrals in Developed Countries

Referred employees have lower recruiting cost, higher productivity and impact the entire workforce in a more positive manner as compared to employees hired from any other source.

 

LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2016

 

Employee Referrals as a long lasting trend

32% companies reported employee referral as their top source of quality hires. Another 26% consider employee programs to be a long term trend. Owing to their long lasting impact, there is an increasing need to invest more time and resources in strengthening referral programs.

 

Utilizing employees for referrals

The worrying aspect of the report is that currently only 8% have realized the full potential of their employee referral program while an average of 39% talent leaders have high usage pattern. India finds itself at top, above USA in utilization of employees for job referrals as shown in the graph.

 

Employee Referrals –The Best Leveraged Talent Acquisition Strategy amid Recession

The comprehensive research points towards the utility of employee referral as a best in class strategy to hire new employee during the recessionary periods. The various benefits elicited in the report confirm the trends of other researches in this direction, i.e referrals are gold for recruiters. They are number one source of hiring quality candidates, lead to greater retention and also the “most productive” source for diversity hires, against the common perception that referrals have a negative diversity impact. Yet, employee referrals are only 6.9% of the total job applicants.

Why do employee referrals not work?

Despite being a mine of quality talent, why employee referrals lag behind other sources when it comes to the number of job applications? Clearly, recruiters are either lacking in tools or application of best practices when it comes to attracting more employees towards providing quality referral candidates for a vacant position.

  • First of all, recruiters have to effectively communicate with their employees of job openings.  It’s quite common to find employees having little or no awareness regarding the current openings in the organization due to absence of any form of active engagement between employees and the HRs.  To be honest, employees cannot be blamed for low referral generation if they are not kept actively engaged on an ongoing basis. This problem can be solved to a great extent if we automate the entire process using a referral tool.
  • Secondly, there is not enough motivation for employees to refer a candidate. To find a suitable match for a particular role, an employee has to leave their daily work schedule and dedicate time specially for reaching out to their network, get back responses and then hand over the CVs to recruiters either manually or through emails. Motivation can be in many forms and not necessarily monetary. In fact, recruiters at Google found that increasing bonus compensation had little effect on referral generation. Increasing employee engagement is the path to success, which can be achieved with greater effectiveness through devising and deploying gamification strategies and increasing communication and transparency between employee, referred candidate and the HR.  Providing regular status updates to employees on their referred candidate and speeding up the interview schedule are just two simple ways of ensuring that everyone has a pleasant experience.
  • Another problem that limits the number of referrals is a long and cumbersome process, which creates a disinterest amongst the employees for taking up the task of referring their friends or professional networks. The manual process which requires employees to draft messages and contact members of their network and then forward CVs to recruiters is a long and archaic one. Most employees simply don’t have that kind of time at hand.

Why implement an employee referral program?

All of the above discussed bottlenecks can be overcome through deployment of a dedicated employee referral tool/software.

Benefits of employee referral programs in speeding up your referral hiring process

Such a recruiting technology can help HRs in spreading the word about a vacancy quickly, manage the responses without losing their mind and also schedule interviews as soon as they receive an application.

Importance of employee referral program in driving employee engagement

Many of these referral solutions come embedded with advanced gamification and other engagement tactics like leaderboards which can provide the much needed motivation to employees for making their next referral. Even keeping a track of the status of the referred candidate in real time is possible for both the employee and the recruiter using these solutions.

(Also Read: How to Increase Employee Engagement)

Use an employee referral program for easy social media sharing

Tapping into the social networks of employees is the key to building next generation referral programs. While manually it can be difficult to persuade every employee to share a particular job listing in their social network, this objective can be achieved easily by providing a sharing mechanism like a button or widget in the automated emails sent by these tools. The software is essentially making the sharing easy by helping the employee instantly post the job to social media without even typing a word. This serves two fold objectives. Even if none of employee’s friends apply to the job, it can be further shared by their connections on their own social media profiles and software can track the referral back to the original publisher and reward them.

Mobile Integration is also an advantage of employee referral program

One of the biggest advantages of these solutions is that they can be used on any computing device ranging from a desktop to smartphones. With the mobile integration capability, the software makes it possible to share jobs and track referrals on mobile computing devices as well.

All these benefits make a strong case for using an automated referral solution for maximizing the success of your next employee referral program.  What do you say?

(Also Read: How to Convince Your Management to Invest in HR Technology?)