Driving Change Through Employee Engagement
How Government Organizations Can Leverage Employee Engagement Surveys to Improve Organizational Performance
Years of research have shown that highly engaged employees are top performers and deliver better results than those that are disengaged. For Federal Government agencies and State/Local Governments, employee engagement can impact productivity, the citizen experience, and even public trust, which is why it is crucial to regularly seek feedback from employees. Here, we will explore how to properly conduct an employee engagement survey, and how to use the findings to determine strengths and pinpoint where changes are needed.
Why conduct an employee engagement survey?
ath Power Consulting has been conducting employee engagement surveys for 25 years in both the public and private sectors. This type of research serves as a tool for anonymous, honest feedback, and measures engagement and satisfaction across a number of factors, including but not limited to leadership practices, training, career advancement, benefits, diversity, and the work environment.
This employee engagement survey has always been a valuable tool, but the past year of the pandemic proved why it is truly vital. For one thing, the feedback gathered shed light onto how employees were managing the ongoing uncertainty and what they needed in order to be most productive. The Government organizations that conducted the research were better empowered to provide their workforce with the support and tools they need to perform their jobs.
But employee engagement surveys should be conducted regularly, regardless of unprecedented challenges. By doing so, organizations are able to compare responses over time to determine what is working and what still needs to be improved. It is an ongoing process of listening to employees, identifying challenges, and implementing solutions.
Recommendations for a Seamless Survey Process
1. Emphasize the Organizational Value of Employee Engagement
Organizations with highly engaged employees are more productive, innovative, and more likely to achieve their strategic goals. They also have higher rates of employee retention and job satisfaction. Employee Engagement should be made a priority for the entire organization.
2. Lead by Example
Buy-in must come from the top. Agency leaders should pursue employee engagement surveys in order to develop a strategic plan and make a positive impact on workforce performance and employee satisfaction.
3. Communication is Key
To successfully conduct an employee engagement survey, all employees must be informed throughout each step of the process so that they understand the importance of participating, when to expect receipt of the survey, how they will complete the survey, and how the organization plans to act on the findings.
4. Inclusion is Important
The most efficient method of conducting an employee engagement survey is online, accessed via an email invitation. Remember to provide a point of contact in the survey invitation in case an employee needs technical assistance. In addition, if there are barriers for some individuals in your organization to complete the survey online, make sure you provide alternate means to participate.
5. Ensure Confidentiality
If you want honest assessments from your employees, you must ensure that their responses will be kept confidential. Failure to do this will detract from employee buy-in and possibly even prevent participation.
6. Do Something with Your Data
Once you have asked employees to complete your surveys and provide feedback regarding their experience at your organization, you need to determine next steps based on the data collected. Those action items should be shared across the organization to indicate that you listened, you understood, and you are developing a strategy to better accommodate your employees.
What improvements can be made?
Leaders across both Federal and State/Local Governments have gained insights from employee engagement surveys, and are implementing solutions to create cultures of engagement. Among the areas where we have seen significant gains are:
1. Better Work-Life Support
Some Government employees have voiced the need for better work-life support. Organizations have been able to adapt by implementing such things as work-from-home days, access to videoconferencing technology to reduce employee travel, access to dependent care programs, and more.
2. Enhanced Bidirectional Communication
Being able to hear consistently and directly from leadership, and being heard by leadership is a powerful means of change for Government organizations. They have been able to implement communication strategies to improve organizational transparency and encourage employee engagement with key aspects of their missions.
3. Expanded Career Development
Stagnation in career progress and employee skill gaps are among the most frustrating challenges for those in public service. Organizations that have taken this kind of feedback and enhanced their mentoring and training programs – with a focus on the kind of skills that will advance careers – have found employees’ level of commitment rise.
4. Improved Leadership Skills
Not everyone who is promoted to positions of leadership necessarily has the varied abilities it takes to excel in those positions. When employee feedback has unearthed such deficits, interventions to address and ameliorate these shortcomings can improve organization-wide health.
5. Attention to Diversity and Inclusion
Many organizations have identified that they must enhance diversity and equality to better serve their constituents and build stronger internal communities. They have not only used employee feedback to improve inclusion up and down their organizations, but also give voice to the diverse groups of people who compose their organizations.
For any government agency that feels hesitant about inviting honest feedback from their employees, our research has found that employees want to have their voices heard. And in order to build a workforce that can best serve our nation’s citizens, the employees serving those citizens need to be engaged.
Want to learn more?
If you want to explore how I can help you get started with an Employee Engagement Survey, please request a call back using the form below. I’d love to hear from you!
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