Organizations today are adapting to a new normal in response to the global pandemic. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken with dozens of managers who echo a similar sentiment: they want to keep their teams engaged and connected during this time of uncertainty, but they don’t know where to start. 

As organizations transition significant portions of their workforce to remote work, it’s never been more important for managers to listen to their people and address what they’re hearing. Without timely listening and effective action during times of increased volatility, teams can experience alarming drops in employee engagement, which can quickly impact long-term business outcomes.

The problem is that the industry’s current approach of addressing feedback—elaborate action planning—is broken. How did we come to this conclusion? Our data, collected from millions of managers and employees, told us. Managers adopt action-planning tools at low rates, and employees regularly give a low score to the question “I believe action will be taken based on my feedback” in their engagement surveys.

3 reasons why action planning is broken

Here are the three primary reasons that current approaches to action planning fail. It:

  • Lacks transparency. Employees are the primary stakeholders of employee-experience initiatives, yet they rarely know what’s being done to address the issues they raise and the feedback they’ve given. As a result, they feel voiceless.
  • Places the burden on the manager. Many organizations fail to give managers access to their survey results, but even when managers have access, they are expected to create action plans independently. Creating action plans without the input of their team leaves managers feeling burdened by a lack of support and creates teams that don’t feel empowered to be part of the solution.
  • Occurs outside of normal business processes. While managers and employees regularly discuss business goals during team and one-on-one conversations, they don’t have the processes in place to regularly address engagement-related goals and actions. The outcome is that managers feel they are too busy to prioritize engagement outside of their day-to-day work.

In short, organizations drastically underuse their teams in taking action on feedback. As a result, action taking happens in isolation, leaders deprioritize acting on feedback, and employees become increasingly disengaged as they fail to see change.  During less volatile times, these challenges threaten an organization’s engagement levels and business success, but now, with increasingly distributed and remote-work organizations, the impact is even more worrisome.

A better way—Collaborative Action

Now, more than ever, it’s time to move away from ineffective action planning to a more transparent and team-powered approach. Glint’s new Collaborative Action capabilities give every member of your workforce a sense of ownership over their team’s culture. They also empower managers to consistently work with their teams to act on feedback, encouraging them to include conversations about action-taking opportunities in their team’s regular workflow. 

By building transparency, collaboration, and accountability into the action-taking process, these new capabilities help managers and their teams take action on feedback more effectively and sustainably.  

Let’s look at how Glint’s Collaborative Action features work. 

Decide on a focus area

Say I’m a manager leading a fully remote team. My survey results show that my team members continue to be motivated and engaged. However, they need more resources to do their job well. After leading a team conversation, my team and I decide to focus on improving this driver in the coming months. Glint then helps me to create a goal that is, by default, visible to my entire team. My new goal is accompanied by recommended action items and relevant learning content, helping me develop my people-manager skills and engage my team throughout the action-taking process. 

Glint provides managers with suggested actions and learnings

Image: Glint provides managers with suggested actions and learnings, eliminating ambiguity and guiding managers with clear next steps to address feedback. 

Create visibility and accountability across your team

Because my goals are visible to my entire team, we can easily collaborate on how we might take action together. I’m also able to involve my team members using the goal-sharing feature. This allows each of my direct reports to personalize their action items, making the goal their own. Here are a few examples of what personalized action items could look like: 

  • One of my direct reports may decide she’d like to build a business case for additional resources to support a high-priority project that’s critical to our business line’s success.
  • Another may allocate 20 minutes of our weekly one-on-one meetings for us to prioritize that week’s tasks together, ensuring he’s focused on the right things. 
  • I might choose to facilitate a session with my team on compassionately saying “no” to non-priority asks from our stakeholders during this crisis. 

Goal sharing reinforces that this is a priority for everyone and demonstrates that anyone can take an active role in improving their team’s culture.

Provide an opportunity to give and get feedback on your goals

Additionally, the ability to search for and comment on goals across my organization allows my direct reports and other managers to provide feedback and suggestions. It also enables my team to easily discover best practices from others and use them as inspiration. 

Glint Collaborative Action + Goals

Image: Glint’s Collaborative Action capabilities help teams ideate, share best practices, and keep one another up to date on progress.

Finally, these new capabilities highlight how Glint Engage and Perform work together to enable people to do their best work. All of an organization’s goals, or Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), can be found in one platform, elevating employee engagement goals to the level of business goals. By integrating engagement goals into established business processes such as weekly or monthly one-on-one conversations, Glint provides employees with the opportunity to regularly discuss and receive coaching on how to grow based on their feedback. Admins can also measure progress and report adoption on all goal types across both Glint Engage and Perform.

By turning action plans that feel disconnected from business processes into collaborative, integrated goals, every manager can empower their team to own and improve their team’s culture. 

The future of action taking

We’re committed to helping you navigate this uncertain time and build a culture of collaborative action taking. In the coming months, we’ll be releasing powerful new enhancements like curated LinkedIn Learning content integrated into our platform so that customers can provide high-quality, bite-sized content to their people, helping them learn new skills as they take action. Additionally, we are planning to send personalized nudges and reminders to managers in the flow of their day-to-day work, helping them develop new habits and take the right actions at the right time. 

Collaborative Action will be ramping to Glint customers over the next few months. Join us on this journey and make taking action on feedback a reality for every member of your organization.