Engagement under a magnifying glass: Becoming Sherlock
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Engagement under a magnifying glass: Becoming Sherlock

For decades, employee engagement surveys have been on evidence-based lists of high-performance HR practices. Despite the fact that other traditional practices (like the annual review or forced distribution ratings & rankings) have long been kicked out the door at many companies, engagement surveys are as valuable as ever in modern-day people management - they are still great predictors (and influencers!) of behaviour and give employees the chance to feel heard.  

However, it’s also common knowledge that the traditional annual surveys are a point-in-time snapshot - even though they are a great way to measure company-wide perceptions and establish a baseline, they don’t help you address engagement throughout the year. That is why at Unit4, we have been enabling our clients to run a more continuous engagement strategy, based on frequent, smaller, pulse surveys.

Earlier this year we already announced that our Insights module helps you see through the numbers of engagement and performance and generate real - you guessed it - insights. On top of that, by combining this with our dynamic user groups this data can be used as a traffic light system: it uncovers and flags specific groups of employees whose engagement deviates from other groups or previous periods. Now imagine... that you could conduct target research within these specific pockets of the business on why engagement is deviating…  

Put on your detective’s hat: targeted pulses are here  

Imagine no more, our next release makes all your engagement dreams come true. From now on you can send custom pulse surveys to specific groups of users only! This allows HR to conduct targeted research and uncover why engagement deviates; It makes engagement data highly relevant for line managers to fully understand what is going on in their team; It provides employees a platform for feedback on topics that are clearly bugging them. Load up your HR sniper and start targeting…  

Let’s have a look at some real-life applications. 

1. Remote work 

Whereas it’s commonly assumed that flexibility increases engagement, there is some unclarity on the impact of full-time remote work. Also, so for our clients: Is there a discrepancy in engagement between home-based, client-based or office-based staff? Our insights module will give you the answer, while a well-thought-out pulse survey (or several surveys!) will tell you what is at the root cause of the discrepancy. 

HCM engagement heatmap

Download our remote working guide for tips on how you can stay on top of your remote workforce. 

2. New joiners 

Nearly 40% of employees who leave their job, do so in the first six months. Needless to say, keeping tabs on the engagement of new joiners is therefore extremely crucial in preventing unwanted turnover. Experts and research have pointed towards several reasons and remedies, so you might want to think of creating a survey specifically around these themes to monitor your company’s performance. 

3. Performance-induced pulse surveys 

Spotting performance deviations and taking action to figure out why that is, is another key application of this new functionality. It can be used both in the context of stand-out, positive performance, or declining job output. Knowing what causes deviations allows you to remedy or replicate situations that created it.  

Think of a case in a sales team responsible for generating business opportunities by phone. Targets are set on a moving average of daily calls made - a straightforward measure to quantify performance. One day, you identify a significant drop on daily calls from one team. By mapping out some specific engagement KPIs and other custom fields, you can look for connections and causes of drop in performance. For instance, you found that the team with low call averages has a low company alignment level. Teams with higher call averages have higher levels on the same KPI. This provides line managers and HR business partners with tons of information to open a dialogue and create a more productive -and valuable- situation for the team. 

HCM custom fields
Conclusion 

Engagement surveys are still highly relevant and reliable for measuring (and improving) employee engagement. However, on top of traditional yearly surveys, you can do a lot more to create a highly tailored and effective engagement strategy for different parts of the business that need specific attention. With Unit4’s pulse surveys, powerful data insights and dynamic user groups, everything is at your fingertips to take your employee engagement to the next level! 

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