Did you know that only 15 percent of workers are engaged in their workplace? To put things into perspective, without an effective employee engagement action plan, a third of your workforce stands at the risk of quitting their job. Ouch!
To turn this around and create a thriving workplace full of engaged employees, you need to do better than slack on your annual employee engagement survey results. What you need instead is clear, strategic, and well-thought-out planning. Understandably, an effective employee engagement action plan.
Thankfully, this article covers everything there is to know about creating an action plan- the whats, whys, and hows. So make sure to read till the end for actionable insights.
What is Employee Engagement Action Plan
You really didn’t think we’d jump the gun. Did you?
Before we go over step-by-step on laying down an effective employee action plan, let’s first understand what it means. In layman’s terms, an employee action plan encompasses initiatives that an organization undertakes after receiving feedback from its employees.
Expectedly, no one plan works for every organization. By and large, the action plan is unique to your workplace environment. For instance, the required plan of action could be anything from conducting weekly one-on-one meetings with team members to a more time-served drive that changes the workplace dynamics.
Regardless of the change involved, your employee engagement action plan should serve to remedy the issues at hand or, at the very least, identify a set of actions to address them. Let’s try and understand this better with an example.
Case in point, if your employee feedback reveals the need for a better workplace health initiative, your action plan could involve charting out a comprehensive solution or could be as simple as identifying and exploring potential fixes. Yes, this is as easy as it gets!
From Start to Finish: How To Create An Effective Employee Engagement Action Plan
Most people don’t realize this, but in the process of outlining an action plan to improve your employee engagement, you’re essentially delving into their mental make-up and turning it into solid, actionable data. And the outcome? It is agreeably reassuring.
A well-organized approach to this and your employees would be happier, more productive, and would remain fiercely loyal. Sounds like a winning plan to me!
Okay, that’s enough of hedging around. So without further ado, let’s dive right into why you clicked in the first place- the steps to create an action plan that yields the best results.
Step 1: When in doubt, survey it
Only if we could spot a disengaged employee from a mile away! Ah, that would’ve made the perfect utopian workplace. But life is not so fair, and singling out unengaged employees will often have you grasping at straws.
So it’s best not to make assumptions. Neither do you have to wait until your employees walk up to you and concede their problems (chances are, most people won’t. Until, of course, it is too late)
The smart way to go about this and discern the extent of engagement would be to conduct an employee engagement survey. Trust me, by doing so; you’d be dodging the biggest bullet.
Step 2: Review your survey results
Well, no surprises here. The feedback collected serves as the roadmap moving forward. Although this step may come off as a no-brainer, you’d be surprised to know how many organizations overlook this.
Now that you know, make no mistake. As soon as the responses start ticking in, sit down with the survey data, study it, dip deep to find out trends, recurring patterns, if any. To identify your score on different metrics, make a note of the comments in context.
Drilling down data in this manner will help you uncover valuable insights that a cursory approach might’ve missed. A granular evaluation of such also serves as an eagle eye which brings to light subtleties in categories that you have scored high. Bingo!
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Step 3: Choose your focus area
Once the survey analysis is done, managers, directors, and HR get down to work. First, they collaborate to collectively identify the chief touchpoints for improvement to effect change across the company. Next, they go through employees’ suggestions and filter out plans that could be implemented.
Well, you get the drift. In simple terms, choosing the focus area is all about the team brainstorming and listing key areas to explore further. Here are some questions you could consider while choosing your focus areas:
- What problems could you resolve with simple changes and minimal effort?
- Which are the key areas that have the most significant impact on your employee engagement?
- What are your highest scoring areas, and how can you improve them even further?
- What are your lowest scoring areas, and what would it take to fix them?
Step 4: Create focus groups and come up with solutions
Your survey data can only help you so much in laying out an effective employee engagement plan. Positively, the real deal is your people; your employees. That’s why it becomes all the more important to bring your team together to discuss and facilitate open dialogues.
So, once you’ve identified the key focus areas, it’s time to commit to solutions. First, create focus groups for each and every target area you have identified. In these groups, factors impacting your scores could be discussed, solutions drawn, and possible bottlenecks addressed.
The benefits of such groups are manifold. Besides challenging assumptions, it paves the way to reframe challenges to newfound opportunities. A simple way to do so would be by posing questions like these:
- How and why do we struggle in this particular area?
- What are some of the steps that this organization can take to help this outcome?
- In the ideal future, how could we have done this differently?
Step 5: Spring to action
What could be worse than collecting no feedback at all? Very well, the devil’s in the details; not acting on your employee engagement action plan is the deadliest error of all.
We know that it’s an arduous task considering you’d be roped in with other priorities. But without clear commitment and accountability, all the pain and progress you have made so far will go down the drain. So, by all means, avoid fizzling and make it a point to define these in documentation-
- Definite actions you are committed to
- People who are responsible for carrying out the action plan
- How the success of your plan will be measured
- Timeline for progress reports
Step 6: Communicate
To ensure your employee engagement plan doesn’t fall through the cracks, communication is paramount. Your employees are more likely to be engaged when they feel part of something bigger, so this step is crucial. Be sure to hold teams accountable, give credit when it’s due, and provide progress updates to help keep engagement steady.
The long and short of it is that just like any other aspect of your employee engagement strategy, keeping your workplace apprised of the progress made will go a long way in ensuring the success of your action plan.
Pro tip: Conduct periodic employee satisfaction surveys to know the pulse of your workplace. Are you looking for more ideas to move the needle? Check out SurveySparrow’s employee engagement surveys here.
Employee Engagement Action Plan: Best Practises
It pays to know that change and improvement are to be made constants if you want to create a dynamic workplace environment. An effective employee engagement isn’t created; it is rather improvised.
In other words, your work is not over once you lay down the action plan. The real challenge is attuning your strategy to adapt to changes. Here are some tips to help you steer the rough winds.
- Be flexible: Improving your employee experience is a long-term and iterative process. There will always be some unexpected issues that need to be addressed and resolved. So it’s vital that your plan is flexible and an ongoing, constantly evolving strategy.
- Don’t be afraid of change: As discussed above, your employee engagement action plan is a plan set in motion. But when faced with unforeseen complications, do not hesitate to change the course of your plan if the situation demands it. Even amid execution, if you find something amiss, be adaptable enough to change and tackle it on the go.
- Be proactive and consistent: To tackle any and every bottleneck, you need to be proactive. This will prevent the issues from spiraling out of control.
- Keep your action plan practical: Yes, we know how tempting it is to set an action plan that resolves every problem in sight. But it would be best if you kept your action plan manageable and practical. Build it around possible hits and misses.
- Make use of polls for quick follow-ups: Do you have a specific area that needs more data? In such cases, it might be judicial to use polls instead of a full-fledged engagement survey. This way, you can have a timely follow-up while collecting feedback to help you hone your approach further.
- Keep track of big initiatives with small surveys: When you need to implement a large initiative, it’s best practice to follow up with smaller employee engagement surveys to gather updated insights. This will help you create enough data points to make informed decisions.
- Trial and error is the way to go: As much as we want everything to be perfect, this is real world where things are seldom in our control. So don’t lose heart if you don’t see favorable results in one go. Instead, continue the process and experiment with other techniques till you start seeing results.
Benefits of Employee Engagement Plan
If you need that extra nudge to unsnooze and get the wheel rolling, here are some statistics to encourage you to create your action plan
- In a major long-term study, companies with a thriving business culture grew 682 percent in revenue. Phew!
- Overall, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable. Duh, is it really surprising at this point?
- A Gallup study shows that highly engaged workplaces saw 41% lower absenteeism. Talk about hitting the jackpot!
In the times we live in, the pressing need for employee engagement is irrefutable. And in the process, so has the need for devising a clear and effective employee engagement plan.
We hope you use the steps we’ve identified here and create a plan that works for you. If you are struggling to get your employee engagement plan off the ground, don’t fret. SurveySparrow’s templates would do the job for you.
The key takeaway here is it’s never too late to chart out strategies that keep your employees engaged and, subsequently, your business in the running for long. Good luck!