Employee Engagement: One Thing Has Never Been More Important
Knowing how employees are doing is critical right now. As leaders confront a storm of world events, many are using agile employee engagement surveys to gather feedback and understand the sentiment of their people.
After gathering insights, the next step is acting on that input—a process that has never been more important.
The good news is that by responding to employee feedback in the right ways, organizations can become more innovative and resilient even amid the most daunting challenges. So, how do you make sure your action plans are responsive and effective?
The power of managers and teams
The answer is both simple and incredibly impactful. Give managers access to their employee survey results and empower them to collaborate with their teams on the response. This creates two benefits:
- HR teams are freed up from the burden of understanding and solving a wide range of challenges.
- Solutions can be local and timely, allowing individuals teams to work together on what matters most.
The team-level approach to employee engagement surveys and response can be a big change for many organizations. Three case studies, compiled before the COVID-19 pandemic but highly relevant, shed light on how to do it—and the potential benefits.
Case study: Varian Medical Systems
A cultural belief at Varian Medical Systems—which makes innovative cancer care technologies and solutions—is “Engage Now and Act as One.”
Varian releases engagement results to managers immediately after survey close, encouraging open discussions with their teams to determine next steps. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to talk with their teams about actions taken and progress made, and Varian shares stories about improvements made based on employee feedback on its intranet site in both print and video form.
Teams use employee survey feedback to inspire improvements big and small. Examples include implementing new enterprise-level programs and tools (such as introducing Workday and LinkedIn Learning), and one region is starting its own newsletter to encourage more open communications. A manager in manufacturing even converted his office to a team room to facilitate greater collaboration.
One manager in Global Product Services keeps his team engaged by challenging them to learn and try things outside of their comfort zone. For instance, he pairs team members together to solve a specific challenge, allowing each to take on a deliverable outside of their comfort zone and learn from one another. Since implementing this approach, the manager has seen his team’s engagement score increase by seven points from the last survey.
Case study: HCA Healthcare
As part of its quarterly survey cadence, the South Atlantic division of HCA Healthcare—a 280,000-employee healthcare organization—encouraged teams to communicate quickly about results. It also advocates that teams collaborate on a plan for taking action, and implement changes in response to employee feedback.
One team wanted more communication about new policies, employees, promotions, and other information. The team agreed to use Facebook Live internally for information sharing. Twice a week, a leader goes live on Facebook so employees can hear updates and ask questions. On Fridays, a director hosts “Follow-up Fridays,” giving employees another opportunity to tune in. Since implementing these practices, managers have seen engagement rise.
Another team, primarily made up of nurses, expressed in their survey feedback that they needed additional equipment to perform their jobs. Organizational leaders met with nursing leaders and quickly developed a plan to provide the equipment needed for high-quality patient care. Nurses felt heard when they quickly started seeing items on the top of their equipment list—IV pumps and chambers—appearing in patient rooms.
Case study: LendingClub
Focusing on employee engagement is just one of the ways LendingClub takes care of employees and makes the organization a great place to work. Continually improving their engagement scores is a top priority for the data-driven business.
LendingClub conducts their employee engagement survey twice a year, and as soon as the survey closes, they make the results available to not only top leaders but also all people managers. HR leaders share the feedback first with the executive team to prioritize significant hot spots and align on company-level focus areas. As a follow-up, each executive then works with their broader team to identify function-specific plans that address any gaps.
Gathering the data is just the first step. It’s what their managers do with the results that really moves the needle. Glint’s ACT Conversation guide (Acknowledge, Collaborate, Take Action) helps LendingClub put their managers and teams at the center of the action-taking process.
Managers are required to share results with their teams and involve them in thinking through solutions. Even managers with small teams receive access to their leaders’ top-level results, so they too can immediately work on the feedback. To support managers, LendingClub offers workshops on action taking, and a dedicated website with video tutorials and guides. They also created a best practices toolkit of engagement ideas that they crowdsourced from their top-scoring managers.
One leader at LendingClub wanted to dive deeper into work-life balance and culture due to declines in those scores. Drawing on ideas from the team, the leader launched simple yet impactful actions, such as instituting “no emails between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.” and organizing team-bonding activities. They also launched a monthly pulse to consistently track these areas and give employees more options to share feedback.
LendingClub’s big focus this year is to create a mindset among managers that engagement is not just something you think of twice a year, but all year. They leverage ACT as an overall framework for managers’ ongoing conversations with their teams, such as weekly one-on-ones, quarterly goal check-ins, and coaching conversations.
Since launching Glint in 2018, they continue to see positive company results year over year, including more managers leveraging engagement to empower their teams.
Glint’s Collaborative Action capabilities can help every member of your workforce strengthen team culture. Learn more .