It probably doesn’t surprise you to know that I’ve been a real champion of Employee Engagement throughout my career. It’s always appealed to me to understand and improve the connection and commitment an employee has with an organisation and its goals. I’ve always understood that highly engaged employees are more committed and more aligned to the goals of an organisation and that ultimately a business will achieve more with a more engaged workforce. What's not to love, right?!
Throughout my career, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with quite a number of HR systems and platforms too. Some have been amazing in helping me to do my job better. Others have been something of a hindrance and made a simple process harder or more drawn out. Either way, technology and systems are generally good for a whole variety of reasons and on balance I’ve found that using technology to follow a process always adds some value to a process.
When I launched Space HR, I kept these two things in mind and set off on a journey of establishing methodology, process and technology to make a truly killer business proposition that I know companies will adopt and love. The Space HR managed service will add value for all types and sizes of businesses and I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few clients already that love our proposition, process, systems and expertise. I can honestly say that 6 months since launch, I know even more that I did before about Employee Engagement as well as running a business.
So with all this in mind I jumped on a call a few days ago and set about trying to win a new customer account. The customer had been introduced to us and had some knowledge about employee engagement. He runs a business with approximately 30 staff and had undertaken a full first survey of his team. He had the full sales and marketing pitch and I’d gone above and beyond to support his free trial of Space HR.
The results were in and the feedback was great! Some real highlights for me were;
- The engagement score was good - plenty of room for improvement but a great start
- The team had absolutely loved completing their surveys over WhatsApp rather than boring old email
- The completion rate was lower than expected but there were some reasons for this that could be easily addressed next time
- Some really constructive feedback on our process that would help us to develop our offering
So armed to the teeth with positives, I was ready to ask her the killer question that every business owner dreads - can we get you signed up as a paying customer? I was thinking this was a slam-dunk. I was wrong.
He said - “I don’t think so right now”
A bit shocked, I replied - “Oh. right. Can I ask why not?”
He replied - “I’m struggling to see the value of this as something I need to commit to”
My heart sank….
It was at that point I realised that I’d probably not talked about the most crucial part of employee engagement - consistency.
Consistency is critical to so many things in life. You don’t get fit with 1 big workout, you get fit by consistently training and eating correctly. You don’t grow a business by winning 1 big client, you do it by winning lots of clients and consistently improving your service and your offering for them .
Similarly you don’t get an engaged team by sending out 1 survey. You send out the survey, you get the feedback, you review the feedback, you create a plan, you communicate the plan, you implement the changes…. Then you go again, and again, and again (and again) ….. and only then do you see the incremental changes that make your teams 20% or 30% more engaged over a longer term.
That consistency in effort also needs supporting with consistency in methodology. A consistent methodology will provide a consistent data set. Survey by survey you can analyse the data and improve based on findings over a period. Injecting technology into your methodology also allows you to reduce human error. It allows you to create a consistent tone to the survey and accurately record data to draw comparisons over time.
Once I’d explained this it became really clear to my customer that this was a marathon not a sprint. He understood that employee engagement was something to work at, but most importantly that the consistent approach provided by Space HR, coupled with our surveying technology would make this process easier, more cost effective and yield far better results over time.
I’m delighted to say that we’re working with him and his team going forward as part of a long term strategy to improve engagement for the business!
If you’d like to know more about how we’re providing a consistent methodology to support our customers, drop me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org