First published with SHRM
Company culture is the term that describes how employees are treated
and how the conditions in which they do their work is set. To solve engagement
means coming face-to-face with empowerment, trust, respect, and
company values to name a few. But many get stuck on the engagement
score alone, and others assess employees without understanding how it is
Employee engagement impacts a company’s bottom line in many ways
for example, the cost of employee turnover a symptom if poor employee
engagement can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity
and re-hiring costs.
Assessments have a wide range of utility, from assessing for skills to cultural
fit to determine whether a candidate will fit in with the company. Employee
assessments are a tool that can provide you a lot of information
about what your employee values, believes and sentiments are. They
can be used to determine if the employee's or candidate's values the
same behaviors, or whether employees need to improve the soft skills
necessary for optimal team performance. This article will concentrate
on using employee assessments for determining and tracking the culture
of the organization.
Changing culture or determining how close company values align to employee
values starts with assessing employees to understand where you
are at. We all need to know where we are at to know where we are going
or need to go. Let’s look at the top 5 mistakes companies make when assessing
for engagement and culture.
Not including employees! Employees are not asked to take part of identifying
the values of the company. To create a sustainable culture that can
consistently achieve strategy realization, you must have employees take
part of identifying the values necessary to achieve business objectives, it
gives them purpose. It makes them part of something greater. If you simply
assess their engagement without making them part of the process, you
will have no alignment between company values and employee values.
Not leveraging gamification in assessments. Gamification and simulation
games can also help address one of the biggest challenges in engaging
millennials and Gen Z, who are often characterized as having short attention
spans. As assessments can be a time-consuming process, employees
are asked to provide answers to dozens of questions, gamification can
make the process much easier and more enjoyable. Not only will this help
give them a sense of accomplishment, but it will also show that the company
appreciates the time they spent taking the assessment.
Not including management in the assessment. Managers are just as important
to assess for alignment with company values. Managers play a
fundamental part in engaging employees, if their values do not align with
company values, the misalignment will directly impact the employee. A
good manager needs to be committed to their employees and the job to
encourage the same of their employees. If their values or behaviors are
contradictory to the company’s values and behaviors, the impact could
potentially effect employee retention, engagement, employee performance,
and company revenue.
Little to no communication of the vision or reason why the assessment is
necessary. This is part of mistake number one. When you communicate ahead of time the reason and the why behind the ask, employees will
be more willing to take part. Effective communication is important to
employees, managers, and senior leadership. Communicating
effectively can make a difference throughout the organization. To
communicate effectively start with a strategy that reaches all levels of
Assessing once a year without baselining and monitoring progress. You can’t know how well or not you are doing if you don’t measure progress. Ideally you want to keep tracking throughout the year on a quarterly basis. Make sure to use your initial employee assessment results as your baseline. Then compare subsequent employee assessments against it. Use the data to determine what areas need attention. Although employee engagement assessments are anonymous, it doesn’t mean you cannot ask specific questions to learn about the function, department, or store they are in.
New hires should also be included early on. Assess new hires to identify how well they do in core competencies such as FORCCE (focus, openness, courage, commitment, and empathy), identify champions and ambassadors to recognize, and reward these behaviors. FORCCE is critical for optimal team behavior.
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