How to Use Data to Drive Employee Engagement
When it comes to retaining your workforce, one feature correlates to 87% increases in retention and 57% increases in employee effectiveness. It is not compensation. It is employee engagement.
Engagement measures an employee’s emotional commitment to an organization and willingness to use discretionary effort to achieve organizational goals. In other words, engaged employees strive to exceed the status quo. To complement the annual government-wide Federal Engagement Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), agency leadership should gather localized data to measure the engagement drivers of their unique agency and identify causes of turnover and apathy.
An employee’s intersecting attitudes about the workplace affect engagement:
- Identification with organizational values
- Perception of job importance
- Quality of working relationship with managers and peers
- Quality of feedback from supervisor
- Clarity in performance expectations and how to advance in the organization
To gather data on attitudes, Government agencies use surveys such as FEVS. Employees self-report levels of agreement with statements probing the five above factors. Then agencies must turn FEVS data into information for decision making and action:
- Analyze and Correlate Data – Compile a factor-wide average, which constitutes the organization’s engagement report card. Statistical patterns of demographics and perspective, can provide keen insights – today and as trends over time
- Draw Conclusions – Connect data findings to organizational or situational factors by verifying it against external information and conducting follow-up interviews. For example, if results show a recent uptick in polarized perception of job importance between junior and senior employees, then leadership might consider avenues to increase junior employee visibility in project work
- Develop a FEVS Action Plan – Select the top areas to develop specific strategic initiatives that together are part of an integrated action plan. Supervisor training, mentoring programs, and executive shadowing are just a few of the possibilities. Gain buy-in from senior leaders for the action plan – sponsorship and participation from the top of an organization, along with clear communication, is absolutely essential to success
- Execute, Measure, and Improve – Identify metrics to measure success on a quarterly basis. Evaluate the results of specific programs. Improve the action plan, add new initiatives. Engage employees in executing new initiatives
Leaders and supervisors must understand employee perspectives, and develop clear and compelling action plans to engage them. This action planning is an employee-centric approach, which may be part of a broader human capital strategy, and will inspire and engage the Government workforce in enhancing mission performance.
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