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showed superior performance and displayed more positive attitudes than those who were less involved. Tey were also more committed, showed higher degrees of trust, and seemed to genuinely enjoy their work

Methods to improve employee engagement

Improving employee engagement begins with the setting of clear goals. It is essential that managers and em- ployees collaborate on a distinct set of goals, to give the employee clarity and something measurable to work towards. Tese goals need to be achievable, realistic, and quantifiable. Making this goal-setting stage a collaborative effort is integral, as it gives the employee in question an opportunity to express where they believe their strengths lie and where they could improve. Never underestimate the importance of the goal-setting stage; after all, employees

which can be easily tracked with the use of performance management software. Tis will help you and the employee determine which skills they could stand to improve and how to go about developing them. Ultimately this serves the organisation, which profits from educated, motivated and skilled employees who are determined to make full use of their strengths and abilities.

Prioritise both for ultimate performance

once-a-year reviews of performance. Notably, a Gallup report9


Both morale and engagement need to be encouraged, but the methods of doing so are vastly different

can’t perform when they don’t truly understand what is expected of them. On top of individual goals, an

engaged employee will want to know how their role and their work aligns with overall company objectives.8


will want a context for their position, otherwise they won’t be able to really appreciate the importance or value of their work. It is important to take the time to explain to each employee how their role benefits the organisation. Tis will demonstrate to employees how meaningful their work is, which will help them to take pride in their position and give them a sense of ownership over the direction of the organisation. It is impossible to improve

employee engagement without regular and effective communication and interaction. Tis is something that needs to be prioritised. With the advent of continuous performance management, managers are seeing the benefits of frequent check-ins over

30 | October 2016 |

that managers who held regular meetings with their employees found that their employees were three times more likely to be engaged than those without regular meetings. Ensuring that you have weekly

or monthly interaction with your employees means that you have the opportunity to give valuable feedback when it is required and for your employees to ask for assistance. On top of this, this regular one-on-one interaction provides a forum for the exchange of rewards and recognition. No employee works for money alone. It is important to each and every one of us that we are noticed for a job well done, and this doesn’t need to come in the form of a bonus. Most employees will be satisfied and encouraged with a simple word of thanks. Empower your employees by giving them some say in when the one-on-one meetings are held; this gives them a degree of input over their roles, goals, and career. Lastly, an effective means of

encouraging engagement lies in encouraging advancement and growth. It is rare that an ambitious, motivated and dedicated employee will be satisfied to remain in the same position for the rest of their working lives. Tese are the individuals who want to constantly be learning and advancing within the organisation. Encourage the building of Personal Development Plans (PDPs),

Both morale and engagement are of utmost importance to any performance management system. Both need to be prioritised and encouraged, but the methods of doing so are vastly differ- ent. For both morale and engagement to thrive, however, your workforce needs to be at the heart of your organisation. Tey need to be aware that you and your company appreciate them, their effort, and the role they play in your business’s success.

Stuart Hearn runs Clear Review, a company that designs innovative performance management software. He has been working in the HR sector for more than 20 years, previously working for Sony Music Publishing and co-founding PlusHR.

References 1 Kate McFarlin, Correlation between productivity and morale, Small Business Chron, 2016,

2 Vikki Ali, The high cost of low morale – and what to do about it, Barrett Rose & Lee Inc. 2016,

3 Marcus Erb, Seven ways to boost employee morale, Entrepreneur, 2016,

4 Ken West, Infographic: employee engagement, National Business Research Institute, 2012,

5 Melissa Dawn Photiades, 6 Eye-Opening Employee Engagement Statistics. Talent Culture, 2014,

6 Shina Neo, How employee engagement leads to a more productive workforce, Training Industry, 2015,

7 Shanmuga Priya, J Vijayadurai, Employee engagement in organizations. European Journal of Business and Management, 2014,

8 Stuart Hearn, Don't cascade objectives downwards, align them upwards, Clear Review, 2015,

9 Jim Harter, Amy Adkins, Employees want a lot more from their managers, Gallup, 2015,


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