Why tools and processes translate to great employee engagement
In this final article of our series on employee engagement, we take a look at the role of tools and processes. We have talked about elements such as leadership, communication and measurement of employee engagement and now we turn our focus to the systems that fundamentally support transformational activity.
The role of processes and tools
Most business leaders know intuitively that great communication, vision, strategy and employee experience translate into high levels of engagement – but some forget the vital role that the right tools and processes play. Call these hygiene factors if you will, but no employee can feel truly happy and engaged in their work if the fundamentals aren’t in place.
Consider, for example, the disengagement that will occur when a business invests heavily in a culture change programme, asks workers for their ideas and input, spends visible money on an internal rebranding exercise… but fails to respond to the specific needs that employees have in order to do their job better. In this way, strategic intent and the daily administration of a business can become mismatched. And in the meantime, that great employee is frustrated and looking for another job. Why? Because despite all the hyperbole at leadership level, that individual is struggling with outdated IT kit or a process that makes no sense and which they can’t get the necessary approval from above to re-engineer.
What do businesses need to have in place?
So, when we talk about tools and processes that support employee engagement, what exactly do we need to consider? There are two main areas:
- The processes needed for the business to manage strategy and the operational activities that underpin it. The Balanced Scorecard methodology is a classic approach here.
- The tools needed to communicate the business strategy in a way that is clear, understood and which elicits the desired action. A tool like QuickScore is ideal for this.
Let’s look at both in further detail.
The Balanced Scorecard
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a complete strategic planning and management approach that businesses and organisations of all types can use to support their employee engagement activities. It helps them to:
- Effectively communicate the strategic vision, mission, objectives and goals
- Align individual daily workloads with high-level strategic direction
- Prioritise products, services and/or projects
- Objectively measure and assess progress towards strategic goals.
It allows business leaders to join up the dots between high-level strategic elements – such as values, vision and purpose – to the daily operational elements such as objectives, KPIs, targets and projects. Typically, it will be combined with strategic workshops that begin at senior leadership level and which percolate down amongst the business leaders and senior managers to ensure engagement and buy-in across the organisation.
The holistic and intuitive system of BSC is used heavily across business, non-profits and government organisations worldwide. Figures suggest that over 50pc of major organisations across Europe, the US and Asia are using BSC. The Harvard Business Review identifies it as being one of the most influential ideas impacting business in the past 75 years.
The QuickScore tool is a Cloud based application that businesses can use to help deliver and manage their engagement activities according to the principles of the Balanced Scorecard. Essentially, it makes the BSC system easy to follow and to implement. Recommended by the Balanced Scorecard Institute who developed the framework, it allows the easy creation of scorecards and intuitive dashboards using simple templates. As the user, the business simply needs to input its data.
It allows businesses to create strategy maps based on your newest data and tracks benchmark metrics over time. The resulting maps are clear and easy to read, making them an excellent tool to help with communication to employees. There are also spreadsheet style reports available, which many businesses prefer to use for discussion at Senior Leadership Team meetings or board updates.
As you can see, the Balanced Scorecard approach and QuickScore work together to help organisations to better manage their strategic programmes, employee engagement and organisational activity. The BSC provides the structure that leaders need to organise their thinking, direction and corporate resources, and the QuickScore system automates reporting, by gathering identified metric data and transforming it into rich, compelling reports that support communication efforts. Most organisations will use external engagement specialists and business strategy workshops to help them learn about the BSC and QuickScore systems and to help them implement both successfully. With specialist support and experience, the implementation and rollout of both tools can be optimised – and the organisation can begin to benefit from both quickly.
Together, and when used correctly, these valuable systems will help organisations of all sizes and type to better manage their employee engagement initiatives as part of a broader strategic programme to grow a high-performance culture and a successful business.