Finding solutions to increasing employee engagement, and improving retention continue to be a major concern. The latest word from Bersin by Deloitte, famous for their workplace surveys, is that in 2016 organizations will likely continue to see rapid changes in the world of work: disruptive new digital technologies; high-fidelity learning solutions; increased transparency in employment brand; and the need to compete even more vigorously for talent. While all of these changes are occurring, the traditional disciplines of HR are being reinvented from the top to the bottom. In the new Bersin report, “Predictions for 2016: A Bold New World of Talent, Learning, Leadership, and HR Technology Ahead” Josh Bersin explains some key developments and critical insights to help guide your HR, learning and talent strategies including the following:
- Rush to replace and re-engineer performance management;
- Revolution in corporate learning; and
- New breed of HR leaders entering the stage.
Get Beyond Buzzwords
The not-so-new discovery is that “employee engagement continues to be the top issue on the minds of business leaders, directing us to an entirely new model of management.” Many authorities are asking the question, “What exactly does employee engagement mean?” While engagement or lack thereof has become a business buzzword, there appears to be no exact definition. After decades of surveying, Gallup still presents the same ambiguous subcategories of not engaged, and actively disengaged. According to Gallop’s latest poll, employee engagement has been stagnant with only 32% of U.S. workers engaged in their jobs in 2015, compared to 31.5% the previous year, and up from 29% five years ago.
The Millennial Factor
Most trend-watchers agree that engagement levels will likely go up but not very much. One of the factors is the Millennial have become the largest generation in the US workforce. That number is expected to rise as high as 75% of the workforce by 2030. Not all agree that these are realistic estimates, the fact is Millennials or Gen Y is now the majority. This simply means that approaches to engage employees in their work will now have to be tailored to this group.
As I have said in previous posts, this is not all that difficult to determine since readily available research suggests that there primary drivers and motivators are open communication, a great company culture, involvement with causes, and achieving purpose and fulfillment. The latter translates into providing learning and development opportunities which includes coaching and mentoring. My question is, “What’s so unique about that?” That is exactly what most knowledge workers have wanted ever since we embarked on the Information Age in the 1980s (Remember John Naisbitt, Megatrends?).
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Sean Graber argues that it’s important to look at employees’ perceptions and behaviors and their impact on performance. Managers can then decide how to shift things to increase engagement. He recommends integrating analytics with qualitative feedback with surveys and as self-reported behaviors. This includes tracking changes in employee engagement related to key performance indicators (KPIs), such as sales, customer satisfaction, and attrition. Additionally, implement “advanced methods” for having regular check-ins with employees to understand where they are being challenged which is an ideal replacement for annual performance reviews.
A Quick Easy First Step
These solutions sound a lot like “Coach-based Management” I wrote about in my book, Turning Good People Into Top Talent (2007). As an easy first step I recommend two assessments developed by highly reputable publisher available at the Talent Management Institute. Click on the following link to learn more and get a 50% discount on your first assessment.