In 2017, there are many things that keep HR/HCM professionals up at night. Whether it’s proposed changes to healthcare reform or keeping up with the challenges posed current regulations, it’s been a rocky road, and will continue to become more challenging. Knowing this, there’s one issue that may weigh even more heavily on you than the prospect of compliance. This issue, of course, is that there is an immense shortage of talent in the market.
In a market like this, employees’ eyes are bound to wander, as the law of supply and demand in the labor market pushes asking prices higher and will to stay lower. This is where it pays to start thinking about your employees, focusing on engagement and retention strategies over the next few years.
However, recent studies show that there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to engagement, but a few roadblocks to increasing said engagement.
Employers Getting a “C” In Engagement
According to the Society for Human Resources Management, while a great deal of employees surveyed consider themselves ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their current job, role, and organization (numbers for all three criteria were similar), and the engagement numbers were decent, there is still room for improvement.
These survey results, according to the 2017 SHRM study on satisfaction and engagement found that based on 38 factors in three categories (conditions for engagement, engagement opinions, and engagement behaviors), the total employee engagement index sat at 3.9 out of 5—up from previous years, but still akin to a “C” if translated to a traditional public school grading scale.
While “C’s get degrees” in college, the same can’t be said for your relationships with employees, who during this period of low unemployment are fielding calls from recruiters and kicking the tires on new opportunities.
Why Engagement Matters
High engagement serves as a reciprocal relationship between the employee and the employer, is an underlying factor in increased performance, and could be the difference between an employee responding to a message from a recruiter or not. High levels of engagement could also help employees overcome concerns they may have with their current organization:
- Compensation: Only 26% of employees consider themselves “very satisfied” with pay.
- Trust: Only 33% of employees have high levels of trust in their employers and colleagues.
- Job Security: Many employees feel threatened, with 36% of employees seeing themselves as “very satisfied.”
By taking steps to improve employee engagement, you can not only increase performance within your workforce, you can increase your retention as well. Human Resources Departments and Human Capital Management Departments need to focus on making engagement top priority in 2017, 2018, and beyond.
What’s Preventing HR/HCM Professionals from Increasing Engagement?
Unfortunately, however, there are many obstacles to increasing engagement in the workplace, and as much as HR professionals try, there are only so many hours in a day. For HR professionals at small and medium businesses—even the most passionate and efficient ones—there is often a major barrier between the status quo and increased engagement.
The barrier? Necessary yet laborious tasks and paperwork. From hiring to hours tracking to compliance initiatives, there are only so many hours you can work, and much of this is being taken up by activities that don’t improve the employee experience.
Get Back to Focusing on the Human Element
If you feel that you have become less focused on people and too focused on paperwork, we would like to share with you an upcoming event on how human resources professionals can take back their day from the spreadsheet monster and get back on focusing on the human element of human resources.
Wipfli recently joined Workforce Go! in presenting a webinar on increasing engagement, improving retention, and focusing on the human element of HR/HCM. How to Build a Highly Engaged Workforce took place on August 8, and featured Brian Dietz of Wipfli and Chris Goheen of Workforce Go!, who shared with attendees some important trends and talking points in HCM/HR, discussing:
- Key drivers in workforce management
- Current human capital trends in ways to hire and retain key employees
- Methods to manage your workforce to drive better business outcomes
Additionally, we will discuss how to leverage technology, automation, and integration to achieve these goals. Click here to Watch the Recording of “How to Build a Highly Engaged Workforce”.