How is your team doing? checking in on engagement

May 09, 2018

by Jill Zimmerman, Mercer’s Global Chief Talent & Inclusion Officer

Research shows that highly engaged employees can have a significant, positive impact on business performance. One Mercer | Sirota study found that stock prices in companies with high morale increased 16% in one year while companies with low morale increased by only 3% in that same year.

Another Mercer | Sirota study of a large multinational organization tells us more:

  • Managers who score high on Manager effectiveness:
    1. score higher than the company average on their performance.
    2. have teams that hold more favorable views across engagement dimensions.
    3. have lower than average team turnover.
  • In contrast, bottom scoring managers on effectiveness:
    1. have lower than company average performance.
    2. have teams that hold less favorable views across engagement dimensions.
    3. have higher than average team turnover.

These programs are helpful for employers and HR professionals alike because they provide strategic, cost-effective ways to train, recruit, and retain young talent. By analyzing and understanding new graduate hiring and salary data, you can gain valuable insight into the top recruitment and compensation trends concerning new graduates, summer interns, and co-op students. By benchmarking this type of data to keep up with the trends, your organization will be better positioned to compete for the next generation of talent to take your workforce into the future.

If we reflect on times when we have experienced success in our roles, delivered strong performance, and felt engaged with our team and our organization, these findings aren’t overly surprising – a great deal of how we feel and perform at work has to do with our Manager. How a manager engages and supports their team members, how they take time to communicate with and understand the needs of their team, and how responsive they are when taking action, has a direct impact on their own experience and performance, and on the engagement and performance of their team members. Maintaining an ongoing conversation is essential. It is the manager’s role to establish an open, trusting environment and it is the colleague’s role to provide feedback, including suggesting solutions.

Keeping the conversation going and taking a pulse check with your team is easy. Just ask “How are we doing on X, Y, Z? What do we need to do to improve?”

Using regular team meetings for check-ins to discuss how we are doing and what progress we are making in the areas we wanted to improve is often a good place to start. Celebrate progress and re-think actions to close gaps, especially when the actions thought to make a difference are not working as expected. Many managers find the team is great at providing ideas and suggestions, helping everyone to maintain a high level of support and engagement.

Managers, I encourage you to check in with your teams. Colleagues – provide feedback and suggestions – don’t wait to be asked. We all have a role in making our workplaces great, growing our careers, and developing ourselves and others.

If employee engagement is a topic of interest within your organization, I invite you to learn more about Mercer | Sirota Engagement Snapshot, employee engagement surveys for small and midsize organizations.