If your organization is looking to make a real difference to employee engagement then an action plan is the perfect tool to get you started. With less than one third of employees in the US feeling engaged in the workplace, the time to act is now. As well as lower absence rates, improved staff morale and increased levels of productivity, businesses with large numbers of engaged employees also report greater profitability. There’s no mistaking the key message here: employee engagement is good for business. But how do you go about achieving it? Well, an action plan is a great way to focus your efforts and raise the organizational profile of this key initiative.
In this article, we look in detail at what’s involved. We start off by suggesting some key actions you may want to consider implementing to increase the rate of employee engagement. Then we provide an action plan template that you can download and adapt to suit your organizational needs. And finally, we look at how to construct meaningful and accountable targets.
Employee Engagement Action Plan: Suggested Actions
Getting started on an action plan is the hard part and so here we make it easy by suggesting some key actions that you may want to consider implementing. These are based on current good practice and hopefully will get you thinking about the possibilities in your business.
It’s a good idea for the action plan to include some quick wins that can easily be implemented and don’t require a huge budget. These will be important in kick-starting employee engagement and will send an important message to staff about your commitment to improvement. However, short-term, focused quick wins need to be balanced with longer term projects as well. And so, the list of possible actions starts off with some quick wins before identifying longer term initiatives.
Employee Engagement Quick Wins
- Implement an employee engagement survey.
- Set up a cross-departmental action group.
- Invite employees to submit ideas or suggestions for organizational improvements via an online form.
- Set up an employee engagement blog on the intranet for staff members to share ideas and insights with managers and colleagues alike.
- Conduct intranet mini surveys in relation to specific issues, job roles or locations within the company to gather information and data outside of the main employee engagement survey.
- Set up a series of team building activities and events to improve team spirit and morale.
- Implement a company-wide staff recognition scheme.
- Develop an internal employee directory with photos and biographies.
Longer Term Employee Engagement Projects
- Improve internal communications to ensure staff are involved and informed.
- Review staff performance appraisal systems to ensure personal objectives are more closely aligned to organizational priorities.
- Provide a training program for managers on how to facilitate engagement.
- Develop a set of employee engagement metrics to track progress.
Employee Action Plan Template
So, now we have identified some key action points, let’s turn our attention to the employee plan. Developing the employee action plan is crucial to ensuring engagement initiatives are successfully implemented. But what does an effective action plan look like? Well, there are certain elements that are common across all the best action plans. These elements include:
- identifying areas for improvement
- proposed solutions
- success measures
- timeline for completion.
Here’s a template that you can adapt to your own organizational needs. Download a Microsoft Word version of the employee action plan template here: employee-plan.docx
|Area for Improvement||Proposed Solutions||Success Measures||Ownership||Timeline For Completion|
How To Complete An Employee Engagement Action Plan
When it comes to completing the action plan template, it’s essential to identify clear action points, projects and initiatives as well as assigning key roles and responsibilities. What’s more, the action plan enables you to measure progress and it ensures that individual staff members and the organization as a whole are held accountable.
So, what will the action plan look like when it’s completed? Below we’ve made a start on completing a plan so that you get a feel for the level of detail that’s required. The most important point to note here is that the proposed solutions and success measures should be what’s commonly called SMART goals. This means that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
Specific targets are ones that are unambiguous, well-defined and are meaningful to anyone involved in the project. The chances of meeting a specific target are much higher than for vague or poorly defined ones. Measurable targets make it clear whether or not you have completed the task. They also allow you to keep track of progress and make adjustments along the way if needs be, as well as holding staff members accountable for their completion. In addition, objectives need to be achievable which means that they are attainable and realistic as well as being action-oriented. Relevant targets are those that have a practical focus and a clear link with overall objectives. Time-bound targets set a clear timescale for completion. Make sure that yours include a ‘by when’ date to increase the chances of successful completion. Otherwise it’s easy for tasks to get buried under the day-to-day distractions and crises that will inevitably arise.
Furthermore, it’s better to have a dozen or so key initiatives that you can really focus on rather than scores of targets. The more you have, the less likely it is that you will achieve them all, so it’s best to concentrate on a few key initiatives at a time. Remember, employee engagement is an ongoing process and you don’t have to achieve everything all at once.
Employee Action Plan Example
Below is an example of a completed employee action plan in which we exemplify the action points we identified earlier. Hopefully, this will give you a real sense of what’s required which can be summarised as follows:
- clear concise targets
- success measures so you can assess how well you’ve done
- accountability so it’s clear who is responsible for what
- definite time frames for completion.
Download a PDF version of employee action plan example here: employee-engagement-action-plan.pdf
|Area for Improvement||Proposed Solutions||Success Measures||Ownership||Timeline for Completion|
|Implement an employee engagement strategy||Appoint a contractor to develop a survey or develop the survey in-house||Comprehensive employee engagement survey is developed & published||Board to decide on delivery method|
HR Manager to oversee
|Board decision by end of quarter 1|
Employee engagement survey launched by end of quarter 3
|Set up a cross-departmental action group|
|Action group membership to be drawn from across departments & job roles & chaired by board member||Action group is set up with terms of reference to oversee action plan & survey||Board member with HR responsibility||First meeting of action group by end of quarter 1|
|Invite employees to submit ideas for improvements via online form||Develop online ideas form for publication via intranet||Over time, increasing numbers of staff contributing ideas to management & the action group||IT Manager to develop|
Action group to follow up on ideas submitted
|Online form available on intranet by end of quarter 1|
|Set up an employee engagement blog on the intranet for staff members|
|Staff can contribute & share ideas & insights via an intranet-based employee engagement blog||A popular intranet blog with lively, interesting debate across all departments||HR Manager to set up & moderate|
Blog to be sponsored by CEO to encourage participation
|Blog up and running by end of quarter 2|
|Conduct intranet mini surveys in relation to specific issues, job roles or locations within the company to gather information & data outside the main employee engagement survey||Intranet surveys conducted on an as and when basis, for example, when conducting review of internal communications||Minimum 65% staff participation rate in ad hoc intranet surveys||All managers to utilize this tool when needed||Action group to review the use & effectiveness of ad hoc surveys by end of quarter 4|
|Set up a series of team building activities and events to improve team spirit and morale|
|Managers to canvas teams for ideas. Two events to be held per annum, timing to suit team members||Increase in percentage of staff reporting improved team spirit in annual or ad hoc survey||Team manager to implement|
HR manager to oversee
|Two events held per team by end of quarter 3|
Action group to review impact following survey results by quarter 4
|Implement a company-wide staff recognition scheme|
|Ask staff how they’d like to be recognized in an intranet survey & hold focus groups with highest participation rate|
Develop and launch company-wide employee recognition scheme following staff consultation
|High rate of participation in the intranet survey (75% or above)|
Focus groups held and feedback given to the action group
Reward system is in place to recognize & reward high performance
Reduction in percentage of staff reporting that the organization does not recognize or reward staff efforts in annual survey
|Operations Manager to set up an intranet survey for all staff|
Relevant team managers to hold focus groups with teams that highest participating teams for more in-depth feedback to the action group
HR Manager in partnership with the action group to develop detailed program
|Intranet survey set up by end of quarter 2|
Focus groups arranged and feedback provided to the action group by end of quarter 2
Company-wide employee recognition program in place by end of quarter 3
|Develop an internal employee directory with photos and biographies||Use the intranet tool to create online staff directory that employees can edit||Fully functioning online directory available for staff||Operations Manager in partnership with IT||Directory to be live by end of quarter 2|
|Improve internal communications to ensure staff are involved and informed||Institute system of weekly team briefings for two-way relaying of information between managers and staff|
Relaunch the intranet’s news feed and make it the intranet’s home page
|Reduction in percentage of staff citing poor communications as an issue in the annual engagement survey|
95% of staff members logging into the news feed on a daily basis
|Operations Manager to brief all team managers|
Communications & Marketing Manager
|System to be in place by end of quarter 1|
Chart progress against intranet usage statistics on a monthly basis
|Review staff performance appraisal systems to ensure personal objectives are closely aligned to organizational priorities||HR Manager to review current systems so that personal objectives relate directly to organizational priorities||Managers are developing objectives that link directly to business priorities|
Staff have clearer understanding of how they contribute to the bigger picture as evidenced by improved scores in the annual engagement survey
|HR Manager to oversee|
All managers to implement
|Review to be completed by end of quarter 1 2019|
New appraisal system in place by end of quarter 3 2019 following manager training program
|Provide training program for managers on how to facilitate engagement||Managers trained in & given responsibility for engagement within their teams||All managers trained in facilitating employee engagement|
Increase of 10% in staff reporting that their manager supports and values staff input in annual engagement survey
|HR Manager to oversee supported by action group||HR Manager & action group to report on possible program & delivery methods by end of quarter 2 2019|
Program implemented by end of quarter 4 2019
|Develop set of employee engagement metrics to track progress||Employee engagement survey data to be supplemented with additional metrics such as:|
– ad hoc surveys
– staff turnover data
– sickness & absence rates
– exit interview data
|Metrics monitored by board & action group every 6 months|
Improving trends apparent in comprehensive dataset
|HR Manager to develop in partnership with action group||Agreement on data set by end of quarter 1 2019|
Data collected & analyzed by board & action group every six months thereafter
Once you’ve completed your action plan, it’s essential to set up regular review mechanisms. In fact, following up on the plan is critical to success as it is the means by which you ensure the organization delivers on its commitments. And the stakes are high. Staff members will be closely watching your progress and will be keen to see some real action rather than simply paying lip service to the notion of employee engagement. The organization’s credibility is on the line. Review mechanisms will help you to monitor progress and deliver on your promises.
And when it comes to drawing up an employee engagement action plan and disseminating it throughout the business, an intranet is an indispensable tool. Whether it’s to publicize, inform, communicate or invite feedback, the intranet is the perfect platform as it is accessible to all staff who use it on a daily basis to get their work done.
Employee Engagement Action Plan: It’s Time To Act
Organizations can no longer afford to ignore the issue of employee engagement. The time to act really is now or you run the risk of falling behind the competition. Use the ideas in this article to set the ball rolling in your company.
MyHub provides intranet solutions to many businesses across the globe just like yours. And so if you would like an informal discussion about employee engagement and how an intranet can support your efforts, then get in touch today. Better still, why not take advantage of our no-obligation demo or 14-day free trial and see for yourself just what a difference an intranet can make to your business.