In episode 15 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss employee engagement with special guest Nikki Lewallen from Emplify, a company that helps organizations gain insight into their engagement using hassle-free surveys. Topics include the problem with annual engagement surveys, what drives engagement, and why you need to have an employee engagement initiative.
Engaged employees are more productive, happier with their work, and more likely to stay with their company, but Gallup consistently reports that only about one third of employees are engaged. To increase engagement, JoDee and Susan suggest helping employees understand their strengths and allowing them to use those strengths more, recognition, creativity, making a connection between the role and the organization, and making sure employees’ basic needs are being met.
It can be hard to tell when employees are engaged, and that’s where Nikki’s company, Emplify, comes in. They help companies determine what they can do to improve engagement; that may even include small things like the organization of the space or the fragrance in the bathroom. Emplify has a three-part process that runs in a quarterly cadence via mobile technology. Employees are sent a 6-minute survey every quarter on their mobile device, which allows them to give feedback. Emplify then gives an engagement score, asks a follow up question about ideas for making changes, and helps the company implement new initiatives. When you’re looking for employee engagement data, short, simple, frequent, and regular accountability are key.
Companies measure sales, financial reports, and turnover, but there hasn’t been a simple way for them to measure engagement in the past, outside of annual engagement surveys. The problem with annual surveys, however, is that the average tenure of an employee is four years, so you end up with very little feedback from each person. Emplify has identified three things that drive engagement in all employees: safety, meaning, and capacity. The delicious breakfast, the ping-pong table, and the snacks in the breakroom may make employees happy, but they’re not going to cause engagement; that’s centered around true meaning and an internal feeling of significance rather than external, temporal factors.
In this episode’s listener mail, Paul asks how to tell his manager about the importance of having a job description for the role he’s been in for three years. JoDee and Susan also discuss the SilkRoad Sources of Hire Report, which says that employee referrals are employers’ top source for new employees, accounting for over 30% of all hires.