Employee Engagement has forever been an inherent HR responsibility. After all, it falls in the duty of HR departments to manage an employee’s journey in the workplace, from on-boarding to off-boarding and everything that falls in between.
HR is tasked to create a workplace culture that fosters employee engagement such as trust, integrity, two-way commitment, collaboration and open communication between the organisation and its employees.
This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”.
Are HR’s efforts to increase employee engagement working?
The bad news is that a whopping 84% of employees are merely “coming to work” and are not contributing fully to their teams and organization (Hayes, Chumney, Wright & Buckingham, 2019). This is shocking considering how much companies are investing both in terms of time and money in assessing and addressing employee engagement.
The good news is that if we focus our efforts on the right areas and ensure the right workplace structure is in place, engagement will rise. According to ADP Research Institute’s latest research getting the most from your employees comes down to two things: teams and trust.
Considering that in today’s organisations, talent is multi-generational, diverse, and even transient, how can HR and leaders create a workplace structure to elevate engagement through teams and trust to get the best out of every single employee?
It’s time to say hello to Agile HR
Agile isn’t just for tech anymore. Now it’s transforming how organizations hire, develop, and manage their people.
~HBR, The new rules of talent management, March 2018
For teams and trust to thrive in today’s fast-paced, change-driven and digitalised work environments, we need to focus on embracing agility both in business and in HR. By drawing on the customer-centricity of Agile, it places the employee at the heart of everything HR does. As a result, our work becomes more human-centric, with the aim of building user-friendly solutions driven by the needs of our people which are validated at each stage of development through employee experience and feedback.
A key component of Agile way of working is self-organised cross-functional teams who are empowered to solve customer problems and get things done. This approach fosters a trusting and collaborative culture.
“You can’t expect different results doing the same things you have always done.”
So if you are embarking on launching your yearly engagement survey, think how you can approach it in an agile way. If you are asking whether it means changing the way you approach assessing and addressing employees, the answer is: Yes!
So how do you tackle an engagement survey in an agile way? Let’s focus on how to address the action plan once the survey has been completed. Below are some ideas of how to create the action plan using some of the values and principles of Agile:
Deliver value iteratively: share results sooner rather than later. Identify the main focus areas, share the rough output and collaborate with employees to design a solution. Even waiting a month is a month too long as you are losing on momentum.
Cross-functional teams: Empowering employees to identify and drive action from surveys can be more powerful in realising change than a top-down approach. Build on the collective intelligence of cross-functional teams in an ideation process, where opportunities are re-framed as questions e.g. How might we help build a culture of trust in our organisation? Applying Design Thinking principles here are really useful.
Validate learning: Once actions have been identified, it is important to define the minimum viable product. This means our priority should be to deliver the minimum to satisfy the employee requirement or meet a certain outcome. The point is not to deliver every requirement or action identified, it is to improve the product or service based on feedback and iterate over time. Act Do Check and repeat the cycle!
Trust and Collaboration: Typically HR works on feedback results and action plans. Acting by the agile principles of trust and collaboration, teams should be in charge of the action plans as this concerns their engagement after all! This also means that you are giving your employees the chance to analyse their own results and prioritise what they feel is most important from the backlog.
Agile HR is reinventing HR practices and uncovering better ways of developing and engaging employees to deliver business value.
Are you ready for the HR evolution? Or shall I say revolution?