Engaged employees are not always the fastest or the most productive. They are also the ones who will take the time to help integrate new employees, work in teams and stay after hours to help solve a problem. Know how identify them and give them their rightful place.
Commitment represents the main challenge for Canadian business, reveals the recent Deloitte 2016 HR Trends report1.
With reason! A host of studies, including one from Gallup2, have demonstrated the beneficial effects of commitment on productivity, turnover rates, absenteeism, customer satisfaction, and more.
Yet, 58% of organizations surveyed by Deloitte felt that they ‘were not ready to handle issues related to engagement.’ A disturbing fact.
Putting all your eggs in one basket
“Of all the means at their disposal in assessing commitment, companies content themselves when the candidate's qualifications fit with those required by the job,” says André Durivage, professor of human resources management at UQO and President of EPSI.
Make no mistake, this is important. “An employee who does not feel competent in their duties will quickly feel demotivated,” says the professor.
Yet, this is but one element among many.
Values, a reliable indicator
During the hiring process, a reliable method of determining the potential future employee’s engagement is to measure the compatibility of the company's values with those of the candidate.
“The approach is quite simple. We asked management to rank in order of importance a series of recognized organizational values, then asked candidates the same thing.”
Durivage refers to a study by the University of Ottawa, which examined the predictive aspect of organizational values. The study demonstrated that these values constitute a valid criterion for predicting ‘task-oriented performances’ and the ‘organizational commitment’ of an employee3.
Surveying the level of motivation
So far, we have discussed the potential for commitment. Of course, there are tools to measure employee engagement within their jobs. We are then interested in the employee’s level of motivation.
“We look at 6 criteria,” says the professor. “Do the employees feel part of a team? Are they being supported? Do they trust the organization? Do they receive recognition? Is communication clear? Do they support the company's vision?”
These items are measured using questionnaires, which employees must answer.
Do not forget contextual performance
Among the signs that demonstrate engagement levels, André Durivage reminds us of a notion that is often forgotten: contextual performance. “Are employees willing to work overtime? Are they excited? Do they work well in teams? Do they go that extra mile to accomplish a project?”
All these actions also contribute to the engagement and performance of the team. So it is up to leaders to keep these critical elements in mind!