A 2022 study from Gallup found that only 32% of U.S. employees are engaged in their work. This is a serious problem because employee engagement is directly correlated to customer experience. If we look at the public sector specifically, employees are the face of their organizations as most interact with citizens. Disengaged government employees can lead to unsatisfied citizens and lower levels of trust.
So, how can government agencies improve employee engagement?
Measure Government Employee Engagement
The first step is to measure government employee engagement. We recommend that a government agency always start with an employee engagement survey to ask your employees about their job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment levels. Management teams should also consistently be on the lookout for signs of disengagement, such as absenteeism, low productivity, or high turnover rates. Additionally, they should encourage employees to provide feedback on a regular basis. By taking these measures, agencies can get a better sense of how engaged their employees are, and identify areas that need improvement.
Analyze the Data
Data is essential for understanding how employees are feeling about their work. It can help identify strengths and opportunities in engagement levels, and it can also provide insights into what might be causing disengagement. By analyzing the data, government agencies can pinpoint the root causes of disengagement. For example, the data may show that employees are feeling stressed due to excessive workloads or they don’t feel like their work is meaningful. Whatever the findings may be will be the basis for the action plan to improve engagement.
Create an Action Plan
Once you have measured government employee engagement and identified areas needing improvement, it’s time to create an action plan. Start by listing those specific areas. Under each area needing improvement, set the desired goal, along with the steps needed to achieve that goal. For example, if the data showed that employees are stressed due to excessive workloads, one of the goals may be “Reduce Employee Stress” and the action steps may be to lighten the workload, hire more employees, and offer a stress management workshop. The action plan should include measurable objectives and timelines so that progress towards meeting your desired outcomes can be tracked. It’s also important to communicate this action plan to employees so that they understand what changes are being made, why they are being made, and how it will benefit them.
Implement Changes to Improve Government Employee Engagement
As any HR professional knows, employee engagement is essential for a productive and successful workforce. In order to improve employee engagement, government agencies need to implement changes that address the root causes of their disengagement. For example, if the data showed that employees are disengaged because they feel that their work is not meaningful, the agency may want to implement an employee recognition program. If employees feel they are not given enough opportunity to progress within the company, the agency could provide more professional development and training resources. If employees are struggling with work/life balance, the agency could offer flexible scheduling or telecommuting options. By making a few simple changes, organizations can increase employee engagement which will ultimately drive retention and better citizen experience.
Evaluate the Results of The Changes and Adjust as Needed
Continuous improvement is an essential part of any successful government agency, and it begins with evaluation. By taking the time to assess the results of recent changes, agencies can identify areas that are working well and areas that may need further adjustment. This feedback loop helps to ensure that the agency is always moving forward and making progress. Of course, evaluation is not a one-time event; it should be an ongoing process that happens on a regular basis. As the agency continues to evaluate the results of the changes, they may find that they need to make further adjustments. But by staying focused on continuous improvement, they can keep the organization moving in the right direction.
Engagement is a continuous process and it’s important to keep measuring and assessing employee attitudes over time. Encouraging feedback from employees on a regular basis helps you identify areas where improvement is necessary and allows you to adjust your action plan accordingly. Consider setting up surveys or focus groups, or just make sure management takes time to talk with their teams regularly to get an idea of what is working and what needs to be improved.
Support and Recognize Employees
Finally, engaging employees also involves providing them with the support they need to succeed in their roles and recognizing their performance when they do a good job. Providing feedback, offering rewards or recognition programs, or simply taking time to appreciate your team all go a long way in fostering engagement. When employees feel valued by their employer and that their work makes a difference, it leads to increased motivation and productivity.
Key Takeaway: Engaged Government Employees Drive a Better Citizen Experience
Improving employee engagement is essential for any organization, but it’s especially important for government agencies. Not only are engaged and motivated government employees more productive and likely to stay with their organization, but they also drive a better citizen experience and more trust in our government. By surveying employees and taking action based on the results, government agencies can start to improve employee engagement and create a more fulfilling work environment.