Are your Employees Engaged?

September 15, 2008

Five years ago, The Gallup Organization began creating a feedback system for employers that would identify and measure elements of worker engagement most tied to the bottom line–things such as sales growth, productivity and customer loyalty.

After hundreds of focus groups and thousands of interviews with employees in a variety of industries, Gallup came up with the Q12, a 12-question survey that identifies strong feelings of employee engagement. Results from the survey show a strong correlation between high scores and superior job performance. Here are those 12 questions:

• Do you know what is expected of you at work?
• Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right?
• At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
• In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
• Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
• Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
• At work, do your opinions seem to count?
• Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
• Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
• Do you have a best friend at work?
• In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
• In the last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Reprinted with permission. Copyright 1992-1999 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved. Gallup and Q12 are registered trademarks of The Gallup Organization.

As a small business owner or manager, you may be asking yourself how to find the time to keep your employees engaged. It is not as difficult as you might think and may be the most important step to improving your bottom-line.

Here are some easy steps to take.
1. Develop job descriptions for each job. Be sure to work with your employees in development.
2. Use these job descriptions as the basis of a performance evaluation system. By scheduling these every six months you will be sure that your employees continue to focus on their top priorities.
3. Hold weekly staff meetings. They do not need to be long, but this is a great way to ensure that everyone stays up-beat and gets regular praise and direction.

Remember, People Wise is here to help. Check out our site at http://www.pwhrm.com.

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According to a Gallup Poll, 51% of workers in the U.S. feel that they are underpaid!

The poll found that 51 percent of workers claimed they are underpaid for the work they do, compared with 46 percent of workers who say they are paid about the right amount for the work they do.

Three percent of workers admitted that they think they are overpaid for the work they do.

Among those who earn less than $75,000, 62 percent of respondents said they are underpaid, compared with 38 percent of workers who earn $75,000 or more.

Women (55 percent) were more likely than men (47 percent) to say they are underpaid for the work they do. Gallup conducted the poll via telephone with 557 full-time and part-time workers. Source: Gallup Poll.

How is your workforce doing?? If your workforce is less than fully engaged, People Wise (www.pwhrm) can help. It has been shown time and time again that “salary” is not the biggest motivator for most employees. Some of the biggest pushers for employee engagment are clear expectations and goals, an environment of continuous learning, and individual recognition. Many programs that foster these, can be put in place with very little investment.

Employee Training, Leadership Training, Employee Assessments, and Team Building Activities are all great ways to boost Employee Morale!

Solutions can be found today on www.pwhrm.com or by calling 816-858-7300!

This article was originally published by Business Week.  http://allbusiness.businessweek.com/human-resources/careers-job-training/1465-1.html 

Well-trained employees are the key to your small business success. Studies have shown that the most successful, productive employees are those who have received extensive training. They’re the cream of the crop, often having the strongest stake in the company’s future.

In an ideal world, you would be able to hire people who already possess the exact skills your business needs. But in today’s competitive labor market, demand for skilled workers far exceeds supply.

That’s where training comes in. Not only does instruction arm your employees with needed professional or technical skills, but it also shows that you are invested in them and interested in bringing them with you into the company’s future. This helps keep workers motivated and involved.

To successfully launch an employee training program in your own company, follow these 10 helpful tips:

1.        Stress training as investment. The reason training is often considered optional at many companies is because it is thought of as an expense rather than an investment. While it’s true that training can be costly up front, it’s a long-term investment in the growth and development of your human resources.

2.       Determine your needs. As you probably don’t have unlimited time or funds to execute an employee training program, you should decide early on what the focus of your training program should be. Determine what skills are most pertinent to address current or future company needs or ones that will provide the biggest payback. Ask yourself, “How will this training eventually prove beneficial to the company?” Repeat this process as your business needs change.

3.      Promote a culture of learning. In today’s fast-paced economy, if a business isn’t learning, it’s going to fall behind. A business learns as its people learn. Communicate your expectations that all employees should take the necessary steps to hone their skills and stay on top of their professions or fields of work. Make sure you support those efforts by providing the resources needed to accomplish this goal.

4.     Get management on board. Once you have developed a prioritized list of training topics that address key needs within your company, you need to convince management to rally behind the initiative.

5.      Start out small. Before rolling out your training program to the masses, rehearse with a small group of users and gather their feedback. This sort of informal benchmarking exposes weaknesses in your training plans and helps you fine-tune the training process.

6.     Choose quality instructors and materials. Who you select to conduct the training will make a major difference in the success of your efforts, whether it’s a professional educator or simply a knowledgeable staff member. Having the right training materials is also important — after the training is over, these materials become valuable resources for trainees.

7.      Find the right space. Select a training location that’s conducive to learning. Choose an environment that’s quiet and roomy enough to spread out materials. Make sure the space is equipped with a computer and projector, so you can present a visually stimulating training session.

8.     Clarify connections. Some employees may feel that the training they’re receiving isn’t relevant to their job. It’s important to help them understand the connection early on, so they don’t view the training sessions as a waste of valuable time. Employees should see the training as an important addition to their professional portfolios. Award people with completion certificates at the end of the program.

9.      Make it ongoing. Don’t limit training solely to new employees. Organized, ongoing training programs will maintain all employees’ skill levels, and continually motivate them to grow and improve professionally.

10.   Measure results. Without measurable results, it’s almost impossible to view training as anything but an expense. Decide how you’re going to obtain an acceptable rate of return on your investment. Determine what kind of growth or other measure is a reasonable result of the training you provide. You’ll have an easier time budgeting funds for future training if you can demonstrate concrete results.

Whether training on-site or online remember, People Wise can help.  www.pwhrm.com