Particularly for those in the professional services industry, building a well-fit employee engagement strategy is as important of an investment, if not more so, as your marketing strategy. After all, the turnover, talent and productivity capital on the line is indeed our greatest expense. With the smart use of your data though, ensuring that your strategy is a well-tailored match for your population is indeed within reach. Beyond simply determining a strategy, use your data to move your strategy past barely making your operating expense ratio goals to pushing your performance to soar above book of business standards.
Top Considerations for a Well-Tailored Engagement Strategy
- Determine your success markers. As population professionals, we often shy away from data and hard numbers to indicate our success in lieu of feel-good stories, but it is in these numerically backed arguments that we ground our presentations to our CFOs and that we base our requests to the data analytics teams who help us determine the efficacy or failure of our long term investments. Before embarking on your intervention, get a sense for what data points you have available to you and how monitoring these can help to ensure your strategy is on the right path on a go-forward basis. Subtle adjustments are typically needed along the way, so a good meter to cue those needs is crucial for long term success.
- Leverage unique differences in your population. It can be tempting to look for a one-size fits-all solution, but the best, most impactful strategies are those that hit on sweet spots of your unique talent work force. Rather than seeing those differences as obstacles to employing the more commonly used solutions, instead capitalize on these differences to customize your employee engagement strategy.
- Get to know your people and their needs, whether they know them or not. Many employers assume that employees believe that cash is king. Even when surveying employees, results often indicate this same sentiment. Nonetheless, countless empirical studies show that long term employee engagement and value is better garnered by the award of meaningful objects and contributions to a charity of choice over even the largest incentives. Although employee surveys are an excellent way to gain insight on your population, take these insights with a grain of salt! Make sure to bump your findings against those of authorities like Gallup to ensure broader findings line up with localized, self-reported findings.
- Strengthen your conclusions with distinct outcomes. Often our Diversity and Inclusion or Well-being initiatives are utilized to double up as an employee engagement driver. These are great opportunities for integration and to leverage employee interests for engagement outcomes, however, care is needed when accurately measuring the impacts of these hybrid programs. Noting and measuring distinct, desired outcomes for each of these objectives can make the difference between a sharp, convincing conclusion and a seemingly muddled one. Use your data to tease out the true meaning of the results and note where there may be overlap to proceed with confidence.