Every company wants engaged employees, and most HR executives, if they’re being honest, will admit that they haven’t found the perfect solution yet. Studies show that employee engagement remains a substantial challenge; a 2015 Gallup poll found that a staggering 51 percent of the workforce is not engaged.
One way to increase employee engagement is to take a goal-centric approach. This method calls for the creation of an objective, tangible view of performance, as opposed to a subjective approach in which goals are ill-defined or nonexistent.
How to Implement a Goal-Centric Approach
There are three components to carrying out a goal-centric method: establishing performance goals for employees, providing feedback and measuring engagement on an ongoing basis.
- Establish Goals for Employees
Employees’ goals should include personal goals, departmental goals and overall business goals. It is crucial that these are aligned with the business’s overall goals and direction. A mix of short- and long-term goals, with incentives tied to each, can increase employee engagement and get everyone rowing in the same direction.
- Let Them Know Where They Stand
Once these goals have been established, use them to measure employee performance and then communicate the results. In a connected business environment, where communication is constant, it’s surprising how many companies fail to offer real-time feedback to employees on their performance.
A way to ensure employees receive timely feedback is to schedule “one-on-ones.” These meetings, between manager and employee, provide both a forum to talk about improvements, ideas and concerns. While managers should provide feedback during this time, ultimately, a well-designed one-on-one is the employee’s meeting. Here, he or she can express an idea that’s only partially thought-out without feeling foolish or seek advice when the job is getting so stressful, it’s affecting his or her personal life. One-on-ones are essential to facilitating this type of open communication.
Providing opportunities for honest feedback is crucial to a successful goal-centric employee engagement program.
- Constantly Monitor Engagement
It is critical for organizations to gauge employee engagement levels on an ongoing basis and then act to fill gaps where employees are showing signs of disengagement. There are various methods for doing this, some of which may work better for individual organizations than others.
Conducting performance reviews is a powerful engagement tool. It’s even more powerful when employees can access and sign their reviews online. Implementing a digital review process also helps management set and track employees’ competency and development goals.
Training is another effective engagement strategy. Digital training platforms, with an employee self-service portal, help employees invest in their professional development and track their progress. Some cloud-based training platforms also empower management to pinpoint areas where employees have made strides and where they’re lacking.
Lastly, to make the greatest impact on engagement you need to know what’s happening in the now. The key is administering – and acting on – effective surveys. Surveys open the door to better employer-employee communication and achieve win-win employment relationships that drive performance.
A company’s success depends on its employees and if they aren’t engaged, they simply won’t perform as well … and neither will the company. A goal-centric approach, backed by feedback and monitoring, improves and increases engagement over time.