Tag: employee engagement

4 Metrics to Predict Future Organization Success

HR leaders today face challenges in making the most of their human capital investment.  In order for organizations to be successful in today’s environment, HR will need to review and redesign professional tools and processes to be able to measure data and facts to ensure a competitive edge. HR leaders are challenged today more than ever to make sound business decisions.  For us and our leadership teams to make decisions, we need to have correct data and facts. But, we continue to struggle with the answer to, “What should we measure?”.

Historically, we have measured areas such as cost per hire, absenteeism, benefit cost per employee, and turnover rate. While these have been important, we should consider the future of our human capital investment and measure the areas that help us make decisions for today and growing into tomorrow. The areas measured on the past do not have predicative or strategic planning value.  These items only report the past HR activities but do not provide guidance as to what can or should be done to improve the effectiveness of HR for the organization.  As HR professionals, we need to develop forward-looking analytics designed to improve understanding of employee desires and engagement. These analytics are metrics that can be used to alter the HR strategy for better hiring and retention practices in the future.  Following are four metrics that an HR leader can consider for implementation and assistance with the forward facing view of human capital:

  1. Retention rate of employees in critical roles:  Which roles have the biggest impact on your organization’s success and which roles are the most difficult to fill?  What is the retention rate for each of these positions?  This information will allow you to see if you are spending money on repeating the recruitment of these roles.  Once you determine which roles are key and which have low retention, you can figure out the reasons for the turnover.  Is it the workload? Is assistance needed?  By understanding the reasons, you can develop an action plan to identify and retain good talent.
  2. Career progression metrics:  These can be metrics to measure the average amount of time in a position before a promotion or change in job title.  Many employees site career progression as key criteria when seeking other employment positions. Use these metrics to see how attractive your organization looks to prospective candidates.  This measurement can also be an indicator of the number of employees not being promoted or moved into other positions.   By determining the reasons, solutions can be implemented to ensure future candidates have the opportunity to advance, and may assist incumbents with mobility.
  3. Percent of employees that support organizational change:  Employees that do not support organizational change are not likely to stay.  Each time a substantial change is implemented, survey employees to see how they feel about the change.  If you find that change is not accepted within your organization, this could be a reason for turnover.
  4. Employee engagement index:If employees are not engaged and happy, they will ultimately leave an organization.  Find a way to measure engagement within your organization.  Many companies use an employee survey to measure happiness in a few areas within the organization.  By having this information, goals can be developed and specifics for causes can be derived from the survey questions.

Traditional HR metrics remain useful but not predictive for the future success of an organization as it relates to human capital and strategic decision making for HR.  With these four new metrics, you can take practical steps to improving future business outcomes.

Better Leadership Through Employee Empowerment

As we start the New Year, have you considered how you’ll become a better leader for your business?  The answer to this question may depend upon what you believe the definition of leadership to be.  Lao Tsu defined leadership as:

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.  The next best, the people honor and praise.  The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!”

With these words in mind, if you’ve had a good year, you know it’s time for you to give credit to your faithful employees who made it happen.  If the year has lacked, it is time to give encouragement because the success of your business lies delicately in their hands.  As a leader, you can empower your employees to do better through various creative tactics.  in the end, the business will see benefits as well.

Top 3 Tips for Employee Empowerment

  • Involve Them in Volunteering

Being involved in volunteer programs gives people a sense of purpose and self-gratification.  Getting your employees into volunteer projects, working toward a common cause as a whole company, can give them a feeling of empowerment that has benefits within the work place.

Volunteermatch.org explains that company volunteer projects lead to job satisfaction, team building and better communication between employees and upper management.

  • Involve Them in Social Media Efforts

Social media is a tool that many of your employees most likely use outside of the workplace.  Many employees may be experts in this area, but are not engaged in efforts to support the company’s social media footprint.

In December 2011, Unilever launched a campaign putting all their employees as the “Head of Sustainability,” regardless of their actual position within the company.  The Australian Head of Corporate Affairs for the company claimed that employee involvement is the only way to complete the long term goals of their Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, according to Greenbiz.com.  Following this trend, A Brighter Planet 2011 survey on employee engagement said that employers who gave their employees an opportunity to share their ideas were six times more likely to be effective.

Although your initiatives may not involve sustainability, employee engagement has become a topic of conversation within the workplace.  Engaging them in something they are already experts in, social media, can increase the effectiveness of your efforts.  Employees feel empowered and the company sees growth.

  • Involve Them in Financials

Financially speaking, putting together your future projections can be a positive way to boost morale among your employees.  To do this, you want to employ an open-book management strategy, as it has been called by various small business professionals.  This is an excellent way to involve your employees in how their work is affecting the bottom line.  Whether showing your employees projections for the next month, or year, their feeling of involvement will have a positive effect.

When employees know the black and white finances of the company, it gives them a strong, but blunt introduction to how their job progress creates their paycheck.  Employees are compelled to do better work when they can see exactly how their efforts match up with the numbers.

End Results

Using your role as leader, you can empower your employees to make a significant difference within the company.  It works as a positive snowball effect: Your employees feel they are making a difference, in the community and within the company, they feel empowered, morale increases and you see the financial benefits.  You can make this happen by simply taking your leadership role in a more creative direction.

Bio: Jessica Sanders is a guest blogger for HRInsights and writes on topics ranging from social media to telemarketing services. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including background checks for the leading b2b lead generation resource, Resourcenation.com.


What Fans & Groupies Mean to Your Organization

A few weeks ago I saw one of my favorite bands, Guster, in concert.  Guster is an alternative rock band (known for using bongos instead of drums) – I’ve seen them live three times now and own all of their cd’s.  Needless to say, I’m a fan.  But I’m not just a fan who likes to listen to their music; I’m kind of a groupie.  I’ve followed the band from the beginning and I’ve enjoyed, respected and defended every piece of music they’ve created.  They’ve evolved as artists and have gotten quite a bit of flack from ex-fans because of it, but I respect their growth and everything they’ve done has really resonated with me.

People aren’t just fans of singers and bands, though.  They’re fans of stores, facebook pages, brands, designers, companies, products, political leaders – you name it, someone has probably said, “I’m a fan of that.”  In fact, the term is used so loosely these days that it may become obsolete.  But as fandom dwindles in importance, groupies become more revered.  It’s not enough to just be a fan.  In the music world, a fan is someone who illegally downloads songs, goes to an occasional concert, and knows, from the entire discography, only a handful of songs.  These are people not truly dedicated – they have outside interests and loyalties and can sometimes jump ship if they no longer agree with the object of their fandom.

If we establish fans and groupies in so many other aspects of our lives, I started wondering if we are proactively seeking out fans and groupies in our employees.  Management and HR strive to keep their people motivated and engaged in their jobs and the company.  Do we differentiate between fans and groupies in the office?

Fans are great employees.  They meet and exceed expectations on a regular basis and are excited to be a part of the company.  Groupies are better.   As in the music-world, they go above and beyond every single day to live their passion for the company and it’s mission.  Groupies will work late and on the weekends without being asked, will enthusiastically contribute to all discussions and won’t fudge their expense reports.  Most importantly, a groupie BELIEVES and is dedicated to the overall growth and intent of the company – they drink the kool-aid (see #2).  Fans, on the other hand, will tote the “company line” and may go through periods of disenfranchisement.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I think for many people there are times when they’re a groupie and other times when they’re a fan.  It’s an ebb and flow, cyclical process. But from the company’s perspective, it’s about catching their employees at varying points of the cyclical process.

Companies should cultivate their groupies into positions of leadership, encouraging them to infect colleagues with their energy and enthusiasm.  Companies should also have open channels of communication with their fans, discerning what is stopping them from being a froth-at-the-mouth, wake up at 4 am to do work every day, talk about it at a cocktail party, groupie.  For that matter, they should also have these discussions with groupies, “why are you so crazy about our company?”  These conversations can enlighten all parties into how employees can be more efficient and motivated in their day-to-day jobs and how management can build a more energetic corporate culture, more compelling products and services, and a stronger long-term growth strategy.

So, who are your fans?  Who are your groupies?