We live in an era that values immediate satisfaction. Drive-through employees are docked for taking too many seconds to provide a hot, cheap meal. We don’t even have to spend time driving to a movie theater or rental store these days – we can stream nearly any entertainment we want from the web or order it directly from our TV. Yet, even in this interconnected era, certain things are better when they’re done slowly and thoroughly. Employee engagement is one of those items.
A long-term, outcome-based approach is useful for improving employee engagement. By examining a case study, this article will outline the benefits of doing multiple waves of employee engagement research.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is often lumped together with employee satisfaction or staff appreciation, but it’s a much more useful measurement to help encourage in your workforce. In fact, since it drives key business indicators like sales performance and profit, employee engagement is a crucial ingredient in business success. Engaged employees are passionate, dedicated, loyal, and feel a positive emotional connection with their employer. They usually exceed expectations and provide unparalleled customer service. In fact, they are often your brand’s best advocates, so they bring in new (and often similarly engaged and enthusiastic) customers. Given the importance of employee engagement, many businesses are conducting engagement research to identify the key drivers in their organization and take action to increase engagement over time.
Improving Employee Engagement Around the Globe
Coca-Cola Hellenic, is an international bottler of non-alcoholic beverages that operates in 28 countries. Their business is people-intensive and executives at Coca-Cola Hellenic have recognized that employee engagement is key to meeting their goal of being the undisputed leader in all of their markets. In the initial wave of research, Coca-Cola Hellenic employees were surveyed to establish baseline engagement and to identify key drivers of engagement. The analysis identified a clear set of suggested actions to improve engagement.
After the analysis was conducted, Coca-Cola Hellenic held action taking workshops with managers and HR representatives to show how to effectively respond to employee feedback.
Eighteen months later, a second wave of engagement research was administered to determine the efficacy of the suggested actions, and to measure shifts in employee perceptions. In this second wave of research, Coca-Cola Hellenic saw significant improvement in employee engagement.
To coordinate employee engagement across their organization and provide managers with actions to improve it, Coca-Cola Hellenic implemented the use of EEM (Employee Engagement Management). This tool allows managers to see how their area of focus is performing compared to other divisions or the company as a whole, provides an easy action planning process to create and track progress overtime, and houses best practice actions and tips for improving engagement.
Since implementing the EEM hub, employee engagement at Coca-Cola Hellenic has risen steadily. Additionally, analysis of Coca-Cola Hellenics’ business outcome performance metrics, found that higher levels of employee engagement are linked to higher productivity levels, lower turnover rate, and fewer accidents on site.
Given how many traditional business indicators are tied to employee engagement, it’s no surprise that forward-thinking organizations are tracking engagement as diligently as they track other important indicators. Ongoing assessment and management of employee engagement sends the message to employees that their work is valued. When management consistently asks how it can help employees feel enthusiastic and happy at work, employees feel supported and respected. The message at Coca-Cola Hellenic is that management is dedicated to employee engagement for the long haul. This dynamic is what will distinguish the most successful firms of the future.