Culture July 04, 2018

How we stimulate employee engagement at In The Pocket

Emma Braeye

HR / Talent Manager

Research tells us that engaged employees are more likely to perform better and improve organizational success. Employee engagement has a real impact on an organization's bottom line.

At In The Pocket we're actively investing in employee engagement. We want to keep on strengthening our culture to become better every single day. 

However, we've been struggling with measuring employee engagement for a while. It felt hard to put our employee engagement in numbers, but at the same time we felt the urge to have HR metrics and facts to rely on.

But first, what is employee engagement exactly?

Perhaps it is easier to start with what it does not mean? Employee engagement doesn't mean employee satisfaction. An employee can be satisfied and merely happy with their job and the status quo. It can mean they do the bare minimum between 9 and 5 and go home feeling very satisfied. But satisfied isn't enough. Not if you want to move forward with your company.

It also doesn't mean employee happiness. Happy employees doesn't mean they are working productively or doing meaningful work. To keep your employees happy is an important thing, but it is not the same as to keep your employees engaged. You can provide beers on Friday, free lunches and company trips to an exotic destination. This is a nice plus for your culture and a great way to thank your employees for their hard work, but it isn't the key to keeping your employees engaged.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organisation and its goals.

Engaged employees feel dedicated to and motivated by their work. In a workplace where people are committed to the organisation's goals and values, they will feel motivated to contribute and make efforts to the organisation's success.In our search on how to measure employee engagement, we first made an overview of different elements that contribute to employee engagement. It quickly became clear this was a broad range, including topics like Leadership, Social Connection, Feedback and Learning & Development.

To help us measure employee engagement and detect needs and focus areas, we introduced Culture Amp, a tool that identifies opportunities for impact easily. It doesn't only help us to find our drivers for engagement, but also pushes us to set focus areas. 

The reason why we've chosen this tooling, was mainly because Culture Amp's surveys are designed by psychologists and data scientists. The tool helps us develop deep dive surveys and enables us to gather honest feedback and accurate, measurable results. Getting honest feedback means we don't have to speculate and can act on what's really on top of mind for our employees.

The launch of our first survey was a big success. We had a participation rate of 92% and our employees were surprised and enthusiastic about the depth of the questions.

Quickly it became clear that launching the survey was just the start. If you just send an employee engagement survey once a year, it's hard to determine focus and follow up areas of improvement. Therefor we decided to incorporate this in our culture and send the survey at least 4 times a year. Collecting feedback on a regular, frequent basis allows us to see how effective our actions are.

After the results of our first survey, we were both astonished and thrilled with the amount of data we've got from it. But on the other hand, we were also a little overwhelmed. The metrics behind Culture Amp made it more easy to set action points and detect drivers of engagement.

But an employee engagement survey isn't just a one way thing. Transparency is a very important factor and something that is extremely import for us at In The Pocket. So we shared the survey results and set company wide action points.

To have a maximum impact, we also organised three company wide brainstorms around 3 focus areas we determined: performance reviews, information sharing through the company and career paths! 

During these sessions, it was so great to see the engagement of our employees and to get a lot of useful input... We're now ready to prepare an action plan with all the input and implement some big changes over the next months!

There is no secret ingredient that pushes engagement in the right direction... It's a number of things that can be used to improve engagement to where you need it as an organisation.

I'm proud we took the first step to understand employee engagement. Above all, it’s important to remember that engagement is just an outcome. An outcome that can be improved by understanding and taking action.

Come work at In The Pocket!

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