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Employee Engagement – A Workforce Strategy!

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Employees seldom leave an organisation – they leave a manager!  Why, because that manager failed to engage them in the business of the organisation.  That manager did not understand that Employee Engagement is not an “HR intervention”, it is a Management Competence and a Workforce Strategy.

The Employee Engagement survey, usually organised by HR, is, therefore, a measure of the quality of management in the organisation.  If reported correctly and in the right detail, it measures how well each manager engages with their direct reports, how each manager is focussed on attracting and retaining the staff that will drive the success of the organisation.

From an HR perspective, it is a guide on the development needs of management in the organisation.

But … an Employee Engagement survey in and of itself will not increase employee engagement!

Many organisations conduct engagement surveys, usually annually, but if your organisation is serious about Employee Engagement, you will achieve the best results by creating an overall engagement strategy that goes beyond simply measuring engagement scores.  Although organisations are often highly proficient in collecting data, many fail to interpret the information correctly and to create actionable recommendations for improving engagement.  Developing an engagement strategy helps avoid these pitfalls by describing what will happen after the survey is conducted.

What is Employee Engagement

There are three parts to employee engagement:

  • Physical – Employees exert high levels of energy to complete their work tasks.
  • Emotional – Employees put their heart into their job, have a strong involvement in their work and a sense of the significance of it, and feel inspired and challenged.
  • Cognitive – Employees forget about extraneous issues when doing their job and become fully engrossed in it.

When employees are engaged on each of these levels (physical, emotional and cognitive), they will invest significant energy to complete their work and achieve positive organisational outcomes.  Engaged employees not only have high levels of personal investment in their work but also feel a strong psychological connection to it.

Isn’t that what we want from employees – but it takes management with competence in Employee Engagement to achieve this.

Employee Engagement as a Workforce Strategy

As a Workforce Strategy, Employee Engagement is a continual process of measuring, refining and measuring again.

As the organisation changes, so do the drivers of engagement.  So an annual Employee Engagement survey might be of interest, but unless it is part of a strategy and management practice, it is of little value to management or the organisation as a whole.

The process of Employee Engagement starts with understanding that this is a strategy and a competence.  The results of the survey need to be analysed to identify the key areas where a change can make significant difference.  Actions need to be implemented and the results measured again to assess whether or not the desired changes are taking place.  Once a year is just not enough to be of good value to the organisation.

Below is a diagram of the continual process of Employee Engagement – as an important aspect of your Workforce or Human Capital Strategy.


If your would like to know more about using Employee Engagement as a part of your Workforce Strategy, today.