Remember school? If we could all just close our eyes, hold our breath and will ourselves popular I imagine life would have been different for loads of us. No matter how much you want to you can’t just be successful and popular, you’ve got to walk the walk, talk the talk, and wear the clothes. Of course, what works in Seattle is unlikely to work in Paris (just try it and see).
Not to stretch the analogy but it works the same way with employee engagement. In the employee research business, engagement is known as an outcome measure. Don’t be put off! It just means that it’s generally viewed as a result of various other activities rather than something you can just be.
Take the tailored approach
In the same way that the popular kid in Tokyo will behave differently than the prom queen in California, the pathways to engagement are going to be unique to each organisation. Of course engagement measures need to take this into account. Engagement for employees in a charity is not going to be the same as in a bank or a Government body. So, the principles of engagement are the same but the emphasis and specific questions asked will vary.
Finding the magic combination of qualities that will drive positive engagement in a company isn’t left to chance and guess-work. By using a statistically robust method called key driver analysis organisations can explore what’s most important to engaged employees, helping them to focus on the right areas.
A design for life
With good survey design, drivers of engagement will be actionable questions on a number of different subjects important to that organisation (just a hint – despite expectations this is almost never pay related). The relative importance of drivers depends on how closely they influence engagement.
The long and the short of this is that this kind of analysis helps you identify where best to act, so you get the best return on any investment.
If only you could have done this in school.