Article | March 30, 2020
In Executive Search now, we have a perfect storm. There is a shortage of labour, a shortage of skills, and a shortage of talent. On top of that we have a global pandemic. A pandemic that is affecting employment now, but it is employment that will bounce back when we get through this.
However, the current situation presents a new challenge for businesses considering how to build their A Team when this startes to recede. We have seen businesses caught up in "now" - and rightly so. We have also seen businesses, still concerned about now, but making plans for the future. It is the agile and the ready that will emerge fastest.
Over a decade ago the Productivity Commission published a report called The Implications of a Ageing Australia. At that time they identified that by 2021 Australia would have zero net new entrants to the workforce. This is not a forecast, it was a demographic certainty as an understanding of the retirement rate is reliable and birth rate from 2003 is simply a matter of fact.
So, it is demographics that produce the labour shortage. This is at a time when there has been substantial growth in high-paid high skilled roles and also growth in low skilled low-paid roles. Across the OECD, it is the roles in the middle, the so-called middle management roles that have been decimated.
In looking for senior executives to join an organisation as this crisis recedes boards and hiring managers need to be considering how they can best access the required skill set. They also need to be considering the additional dimensions that define talent. Across most high-value roles, on top of the requisite skills for the job, the ability to think and act strategically, the capacity to embrace change and even drive it, and people skills, specifically the ability to inspire and motivate others are what separates the merely well-qualified from the leaders of the future. We also believe a new form of holistic leadership will emerge, systemic leadership. It had already begun, but in 6 months time, the new breeed of leaders will have a different view of the world. Leaders who can see their decisions influenced more by compassion, caring for us all and for the society we live in.
It will be easy for organisations to sit on their hands when looking at the talent that they will require going forward. However, the current global pandemic will, one way or another, come to an end. With real talent in such short supply, it will be the brave and bold organisations who fulfil the talent requirements right now that will have the capacity to pull their businesses through into a new growth curve in the near future.
These are troubling times, but the reality is that organisations large and small need to re-think leadership.
Article | March 30, 2020
Engaged employees work better, are more productive and encourage others to contribute more. It’s a no-brainer that employees who feel connected to their organizations make for an empowered workforce. This is why employee engagement has an exponential impact on almost every significant aspect of your organization like profitability, revenue generation, sales, customer experience and even recruitment.
According to a Gallup study, highly engaged employees result in 21% higher profitability for their companies.
Employee engagement is a hot topic among HR leaders across the world and there is a ton of information about it and some ambiguity.
But isn’t engagement subjective? And what exactly does it mean to measure employee engagement? And how can you measure it if you can’t define it?
What is employee engagement and can it be measured?
Employee engagement is the degree of emotional and mental connection an employee has towards their work, team and organization. Employee engagement metrics cover more than just satisfaction, well-being and happiness derived from one’s job.
Measuring the right drivers of engagement adapted for your organization’s workplace and culture can reveal more valuable insights.
Levels of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement can be classified into four levels. From highly engaged to disengaged, here’s how every level is defined and what they mean.
Positive towards their job and team
Champion your organization and brand
Motivated to stay long-term
Higher productivity and job satisfaction
Favorable but not fully engaged
Unlikely to take initiative
On the lookout for other opportunities
Room to be more engaged
Neutral towards the organization
Demotivated about their work and team
Likely to underperform
Pose a risk of high turnover
Negative perception towards their work
Lack of commitment
Misaligned with your organization’s mission and values
Negative influence on team members
Why is it crucial to measure employee engagement?
People-centric organizations are fully aware that their people are one of their most important assets. So, how does employee engagement impact companies on the ground? Multiple studies show they have a direct influence on every critical area of your business.
According to a Gallup study, highly engaged employees result in 21% higher profitability for their companies. On the other hand, another study reveals that disengaged employees cost companies in the US $450 - 500 billion every year. Therefore, profitability is one the most significant aspect of your business and employee engagement is correlated to it.
Engaged employees are reported to be 17% more productive than those that are disengaged. This is because they love their jobs, thus, are willing to go above and beyond their scope of duties and getting more things done.
Since engaged employees report higher job satisfaction, they are unlikely to switch jobs. This drastically improves employee retention resulting in reduced costs for the organization.
Employee engagement has a direct impact on customer service. Engaged employees are deeply committed to their jobs and endeavor for customers satisfaction.
Engaged employees are also less likely to take unnecessary leaves. A Gallup study shows a 41% decrease in absenteeism from impeccable employee engagement alone.
Work is a modern-day source of stress for many workers. However, engaged employees are healthier, have fewer chronic diseases, are less likely to be overweight and more likely to eat healthier and exercise. Overall, it’s a win-win for both employers and employees.
Engaged employees are more focused. This results in fewer workplace injuries, drastically reducing costs and resulting in better adherence to safety standards.
Tracking Employee Engagement
The important question is what are the drivers of employee engagement and how do you even begin to quantify engagement?
Most organizations start right with employee engagement surveys and witness significant participation. But what steps are taken next once the surveys are complete? For this, choosing your survey questions matter a lot.
What to do?
Outline your plan of action
Collecting information will give you an insight into how your employees relate to the various drivers of engagement. Next, outline the exact outcomes you want out of this strategy.
For example, ask targeted questions that reveal perceptions of your organization, the pride your employees take in their work, intention to continue long-term. You can measure these and other parameters you consider important on a scale of 1 to 10 to determine the level of engagement.
Determine what matters most to YOUR employees
Every organization across industries varies in its workplace dynamics and what its employees consider important. You can determine what employees consider most essential by considering the following universal drivers of employee engagement:
My job empowers me to use my best skills.
My seniors demonstrate honesty and integrity.
I am confident this organization will do well.
My job is challenging and mentally stimulating.
The senior leaders here value their employees.
My opinions are heard and considered at work.
I get recognized for my efforts and contributions to the organization.
I see opportunities for career growth here.
I trust my leaders to lead this organization to grow and succeed.
I have all the necessary resources to do my job well.
Calibrate your employee engagement strategy
Resonance is key. The importance of conducting surveys and having your finger on the pulse of the workplace cannot be understated. However, it is also essential to pace your measuring to enable smart decision-making.
Research shows, tracking employee engagement annually is the best route to take. Since employee behaviors change through a period, you want to balance employee surveys to capture responses from everyone.
Pulse surveys can help you track engagement in real-time about specific changes and topics. While life cycle surveys will track employee perceptions during appraisals, transfers or promotions. Whatever you choose, ensure it is calibrated to your organization’s specific end goals.
What not to do?
Now that you know what steps to take next, it is imperative to explore some of the mistakes that you should avoid. Here is a list of things you should not do to avoid miscalculating employee engagement.
Don’t rely on pulse surveys
Short and specific surveys are crucial in your toolkit, but they are likely to paint only part of the picture. Hence, pulse surveys should not form the crux of your strategy. Instead, it can help you identify trends and patterns over time and shape a more concrete strategy that aligns with your organizational goals.
Don’t survey a sample population
Surveying a sample population can be deceptive when it comes to measuring employee engagement. Eliminate surveys that don’t cover all your employees and their voices. The results are skewed and the efforts do not help you get to the heart of your organization’s true ethos.
Don’t stop at collecting answers to surveys
Once you have the insights you need, don’t let them go stale. What this means is you need to take action right away while the results are fresh. This ensures our action steps are steady and aligned to the yielding the outcomes you want.
What does action look like?
Once you have the data you need, it is time to put it into action. An actionable strategy will help you implement your specific engagement drivers, propose steps to execute your employee engagement strategy, and create accountability for the outcomes you seek. Finally, employing an experience management solution can help you keep track of engagement and the actions you need to take.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should collect engagement data?
Since engagement data is critical, you must ensure complete confidentiality. However, it is also important to share it with the right stakeholders. Your HR team should drive the efforts to collect the data you need.
Who is responsible for taking action on the results of the employee engagement survey?
The leadership team, HR and managers all play a role in determining the next steps post the collection of information stage. Your HR teams curate the tool and engagement partners while your leadership visualize the objectives and share progress. They can also support managers in identifying areas of focus where engagement efforts are most needed.
Do third-party providers offer employee engagement services?
Yes, quite a few third-party services are available if you are considering developing an employee engagement strategy. However, take note that you will want to do the heavy lifting of gathering data and identifying your goals to maximize getting the most out of these professional services.
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Article | March 30, 2020
As many companies adjust to working remotely, there is an overwhelming need for employees to be recognized and engaged on an ongoing basis. No matter where they are, they want to be connected to their leaders and each other, and they want to work for managers who appreciate them. With just a few simple adjustments, leaders can successfully recognize remote workers using many of the same techniques they use for on-site workers.
Article | March 30, 2020
The IRS estimates 40 percent of small and medium-sized U.S. companies end up paying a payroll penalty every year. Most of these penalties are due to filing errors or not depositing withholdings on time. This isn’t shocking since calculating payroll is no simple task. When you’re juggling factors like employees’ wages and salaries, employee benefits and incentives, tax deductions, and much more, things get complicated quickly. Plus, every state has its own tax regulations, so it’s easy to miss details if you are not careful.