The Engaged Employee
Instructional Design

The Engaged Employee

What criteria determine the degree of engagement in an employee? What criteria describe being an “engaged employee”? What environmental factors in the work context promote optimal engagement? What educational context factors promote employee engagement?

Who understands the organizational culture and its learning and performance goals? Who assesses the degree of employee engagement and is responsible for establishing it in the organization?

Those are a lot of questions for one department: The Learning & Development section of the Human Resources department. The HR knows more about individuals in the organization than other departments. They know the whims and complaints. The strengths and weaknesses. The tried and tested routes to successful practices. The failed attempts and predictable catastrophes. The working preferences of employees and their entertainment wish-lists. The learning style preferences of employees as well as their course requests.

This is a rich “insider” information that can be used to determine the satisfaction level or the contentment level of all employees. Let’s explore how to develop employee engagement and why it is so important for the success of an organization.

Aligning learning programs with employee engagement criteria improves employee performance. Just know what learning material is in-demand and how to connect learning with the employees.

Engaged employee brings in greater revenue

Several reports link company revenue to its employee engagement. Forbes reports a 6% higher net profit margin for companies with an engaged workforce, and a five times higher shareholder return over five years than companies without an engaged workforce. And, according to a 2010 report from the Hay Group, companies with high levels of engagement enjoy 2.5 times greater growth than their peers and a 40% reduction in staff turnover.

In order to reinforce employee engagement, the HR department needs to create an employee engagement plan.

The Employee Engagement Plan 

Gallup has defined three levels of engagement demonstrated by employees in an organizations. These levels enable HR to determine current engagement level and compare it to the target engagement level. According to a study titled The Drivers of Employee Engagement, completed by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), both the employees and the senior management need to cooperate with the HR to develop an employee engagement plan.

  1. Engaged: Employees work with a passion and feel a profound connection with their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
  2. Not Engaged: Employees are essentially “checked-out”. They are sleep walking throughout their day, putting time but no energy in their work.
  3. Actively Disengaged: Employees aren’t happy at work they are acting out their unhappiness. Everyday these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.

What criteria can be used to develop the employee engagement program? Consider the Gallup Q12 questions. Present these questions in the form of a mandatory survey. Use the answers to determine the degree of engagement for each employee.

Gallup’s Q12 

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment that I need in order to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel that my job is important?

9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the past six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This past year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

How would answers to these questions help develop employee engagement programs? The Engaged Employee level needs inspiration for personal and professional growth. The HR can recommend novel learning and work experiences that will add value to the Engaged Employee.

The Not Engaged and Actively Disengaged Employee levels require more focus and insightful planning to develop learning and performance enhancement solutions that suffice the demands of these employees.

The Institute for Employment Studies also identified the expectations of employees from an organization to fulfill their career growth and performance needs:

• Involvement in decision making: Use collaborative tools like discussion boards and announcement notifications to update all employees on latest activities and policy updates while providing opportunities for comments.

• The extent to which managers acknowledge and value the comments of employees on important decisions in the form of feedback and justifications.

• The career-growth opportunities available to employees: The HR can mentor an employee towards a desirable professional growth with the aid of latest courses and certification programs.

• The degree of involvement of the organization into the employees’ health and well-being.

Survey results generated through the Gallup Q12 questions will aid in developing successful educational programs.  Once the personal and professional needs of the employee have been discovered, they can be aligned with the professional development programs to create a learning organization.

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