Businesses have been around for as long as people understood the concept of trade, and for the longest time, the question has been "How can I improve productivity to increase profit?". More precisely, people have been asking how they can improve employee productivity and securing a workforce for the long run.
In recent years, we’ve seem to have found the answer, employee engagement. In fact many studies have found a connection between employee engagement and productivity.
- Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.
(Source: Dale Carnegie)
- Companies who implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback.
- Only about 25% of business leaders have an employee engagement strategy.
(Source: Dale Carnegie)
- Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.
(Source: Workplace Research Foundation)
Who is responsible for employee productivity and employee engagement?
So who exactly is responsible for the engagement and productivity of employees in the company?
Undeniably, for managers and leaders to succeed, they need a team who is able and willing to support them. In this sense, leaders are the ones responsible for employee productivity and play a big role in employee engagement. Case in point, according to a survey by Weekdone, 55% admits that micromanaging decreases productivity, and a whopping 68% says it decreases morale in the company, which goes to show the impact leaders and managers have on the staff.
From a business perspective however, the responsibility of engaging employees and increasing employee productivity is one that lies primarily on the HR function. HR functions that continue to take a backseat in the discussion of business and it's direction, this is in fact a misguided use of resource.
Lagging behind with various responsibilities, including talent acquisition, administration and in some cases payroll, when employees, the human resource of the company, should be every HR functions utmost priority seeing how it affects livelihood of the overall business.
So how can HR drive and increase productivity through employee engagement?
What does studies show regarding employee engagement?
According to a survey by Oracle, employee engagement starts at onboarding, with up to 41% of people saying that their onboarding process set them up for success in their jobs.
By setting up a well structured onboarding process, communicating responsibilities and helping new joiners settle into their role, HR leaders can help increase employee engagement.
In fact, at Links, we would argue that building employee engagement begins before onboarding. As both a leader in HR services and solutions as well as an award-winning recruitment agency in Asia, we believe that to increase productivity and to secure employee engagement starts with finding the talent with the right skills and cultural fit. This way businesses maximise their chance for success with talent whose vision align with that of the company’s.
To increase employee productivity, and to help employees improve on themselves, it is important that the company provides its employees with the right resources and tools. To be clear about what the company expects of them and give them the appropriate devices to deliver.
- What are the priority goals that you’d like your employees to focus on?
- Is their workload allowing them to achieve said goals?
- Are there perhaps some tasks that are taking too much time and resource which can actually be tackled by outsourcing or delegating to an external vendor?
Effective communication is key in driving employee engagement. Not only should the goals and priorities be communicated clearly by setting SMART objectives - Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, but the mode of communication is also important.
While different leaders and managers may have different ways of communication and assessing the people in their team. How HR can help to drive productivity and employee engagement levels is to put the right performance reviews and assessments in place to help better measure and communicate progress and indicate areas of improvement for employees.
The reality that’s preventing businesses from increasing employee productivity
While properly conducted reviews have shown to increase employee engagement level as they communicate expectations and provide feedback on employee's current progress, the challenge is with how ineffective companies have approached performance review. In some cases, these reviews are simply custom pleasantries with little follow up or impact on the careers and development of employees.
For performance reviews to be effective they need to be fair, taking into account the view of different people, and also be assessed regularly. However, from the survey, it’s found that close to half the people thought their last performance review was unfair, with only 36% said that their performance review took into account the views of their peers.
What’s worse is how people perceive these performance reviews to have little weight or impact on their career progression and development, with only 41% believing there is equal opportunity progression, and as little as 39% have access to online collaborative learning tools to fuel development. With such grim findings, it's no wonder employees have a bleak understanding of HR.
What it’ll take to increase employee engagement and productivity
For businesses to succeed, it will be paramount for HR departments to focus on their greatest asset, the people of the company. By placing the proper infrastructure within the company to effectively communicate responsibilities, provide feedback and opportunities to learning and development, as well as implement fair rewarding systems to encourage employee performance.
A common way for major organisations to realign their HR function is through offloading tedious tasks like payroll processing to third party vendors so that their HR department can focus on better employee engagement and in delivering the results.
Start now with Links International. Learn about our various award-winning HR services from payroll, visa processing, secondment PEO /EOR, to recruitment, with over 20 years of experience in HR services in Asia. Get in touch with one of our representatives today.
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