Getting your employees to participate in formal employee engagement programming is a difficult challenge as it is, but many organizations are making it more difficult than it needs to be.
According to Cone Communications, 64 percent of employees want programming opportunities to support causes or issues they care about and our research found that more than 20 percent of employees say they don’t participate in employee engagement programming because they’re not passionate about the offerings.
Many executives and leaders implement programs to help drive corporate initiatives, but in the process they generalize the wants and/or needs of their employee base, leaving behind their passions and widening the intent to action gap.
Everyone wants to know what types of programming employees are passionate about, but there is no silver bullet. In order to understand what programs your employees will be excited by, you need to find out what excites them, what are their individual passions and how can you align company goals and initiatives with their interests.
The best way to get this information is to ask employees directly. Whether it be though your company’s intranet, an online forum, encouraging open discussion during team meetings, or through company-wide surveys, make sure you provide outlets for employees to share their feelings and preferences with company leaders.
We believe that surveys are an especially useful tool to help understand your workforce. They allow you to gather qualitative and anecdotal information as well as analyze quantitative data. We’ve created a comprehensive library of questions related to employee engagement programming that can be used to understand what your employees want from employee engagement programming. You can use these questions to create a standalone employee engagement interest survey, or just pick a few questions to include in an existing all-company survey. Either way, we encourage you to use this tool to get you thinking about the types of conversations your organizations should be having with employees, where you may have strengths in your programming efforts and where you may need to improve.
While every organization has different methods to communicate and collect information from their employee base, it is important to close the loop and be transparent in your process. Share your findings with employees, how their feedback influenced the programs you plan to implement, and why you may not be able to deliver on some ideas right away, if at all.
Employees value being heard, and are more willing to engage if they feel a personal connection in doing so or are aware of how their efforts help their organization be more successful.