Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Anna Smith – Chief Editor of TalentGuard. Her opinions are her own.
According to a recent study by Gallup, employee engagement is highlighted as one of the most powerful tools in creating and sustaining a profitable business. However, many companies are missing the mark on keeping an engaged workforce, for several reasons, which is costing an oppressive $960 to $1.2 trillion per year. Employees cite a lack of interest in the work they perform and the company they work for linked to poor or no recognition, no career development or education opportunities, and lacklustre appraisal processes that don’t offer much insight.
While many companies are starting to see that increasing employee engagement leads to higher productivity, retention, and morale, most still struggle to find the right strategy.
Performance management software offers a way of delivering employee evaluation that is both more effective in its use and more powerful in raising levels of engagement over time. Investing in performance management software can increase the potential for long-term success among an organization and its workforce.
By focusing on boosting employee engagement, performance management benefits companies large and small in the following strategic ways.
Immediate, consistent feedback
One of the most common reasons employees cite being disengaged with their work is a lack of valuable feedback from those who matter most. Companies often fail to offer feedback on a consistent basis, or in a timely fashion, which leaves employees out of the loop as to their work performance. This disconnect between feedback cycles means employees have no way of knowing what they need to work on to improve, or, most importantly, what they’re doing right.
Performance management systems help in this regard by giving companies a strategy to provide feedback that is both immediate and consistent. Whether initiated by the employee after the completion of a project, or as part of a one-on-one coaching session with her manager, feedback is provided in a simple, recordable way. This information is invaluable in improving employee engagement.
Merging corporate and individual goals
Another reason employee engagement drags over time revolves around the lack of goal clarity, both on a personal and organizational level. It is a true challenge for employees to be excited about the work they perform for a company when they are not all that clear about how that work fits into the big picture of organizational success. Performance management solutions allow for the seamless merger of corporate and individual goals.
HR departments utilize performance management to create corporate goals that can then be aligned to team or individual objectives, all which can be monitored in a single location. The goals included in a performance management software have all the right attributes: they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Giving employees the ability to select the goals they want to achieve and clearly see how those align with broader objectives is a necessary step in improving engagement.
Ongoing monitoring of progress
Performance management platforms have the potential to boost employee engagement through ongoing monitoring of goal progress and career development. Many employees feel as though their company offers little in the way of personal and job growth opportunities, even when they are able to set objectives for themselves. They may also feel like they have no clear idea of where they stand toward the progression of a specific goal over time.
Without a training and career development strategy that is easy to use and insightful to employees, engagement is sure to miss the market.
Fortunately, these solutions make it easy for both employees and management to view progress toward objectives over time. These details, like feedback, completed training, and recognition, are all housed in a single location which offers a timeline of success for individuals and their supervisors. These details can be used to create more powerful appraisals, as well as offering proactive suggestions on what skills or education may be beneficial in the future. Giving both employees and their managers an opportunity to track progress is key to improving passion and motivation on the job.
Finally, performance management software helps improve engagement of employees with the help of real-time recognition. Many studies over the last several years have pointed out the need for recognition among workers to help them feel empowered and appreciated at work. Many companies, however, do not provide recognition at the optimal time, or they do not offer it at all.
Recognition delivery and correlated rewards can be done easily with the right performance management software. This recognition may also be provided by multiple stakeholders in the company, not just an employee’s direct supervisor, which creates a deeper connection with and appreciation for the company from the employee’s perspective.
Lacking employee engagement is not an easy business challenge to overcome, as every company differs in the why behind less passion and motivation from its workforce. However, adding in a solution that delivers on recognition, feedback, progress monitoring, and goal-setting is one viable strategy for increasing engagement across nearly all organizations.