Positive organizational microclimate and pulse. Where to start?
The company is a living organism composed of various people – employees. This is the first condition that needs to be set – every organization is made up of people who do not have on/off buttons for emotions, feelings, and other personal experiences. However, by doing their job, being appreciated, feeling significant, and contributing to the company’s goals, the employee can focus his or her thoughts on current activities, and not vice versa. At the workplace, a person spends a significant part of his day and life, so how he feels is important. A positive working atmosphere contributes to employee productivity. Is it easy to do your job well when you feel bad? And when you feel good, you achieve even more than is expected from you.
Secondly, it is very important to select the right people for the job positions or to understand each employee’s strengths and develop their weaknesses if you are already working with existing staff. A person develops intellectually and emotionally throughout his life. It should therefore be mentioned that the employee also develops as a specialist in the organization with his experience, knowledge, and skills. Continuous training of employees is not an investment that will not pay off or that should be used to “bind” the employee to the organization. Respect, attention, and encouragement show the importance of the employee in the organization, and he wants to work there because he feels valued. Such an employee tries to perform the tasks better, often showing initiative himself, such an employee stays in the organization not because he has to, but because he wants to be part of such an organization. Research conducted by Gallup has shown that only 15% of employees worldwide are emotionally involved in their organization, care about the company they work for, and sincerely pursue its goals. The employee’s positive experience in the workplace, and at the same time his involvement in the organization, depends as much as 70% on the direct supervisor or team leader.
Third, the change does not happen automatically or instantly. Creating an organizational culture is a long process that begins from the moment the company is founded. If not much attention was paid at first, the culture was simply shaped according to the vision and understanding of owners, then changed as new employees arrived, and so on. If the internal organizational culture was not a priority, it should come as no surprise that there is no common understanding of how to behave and solve problems, etc. However, it is worth paying attention to the organizational culture later on and taking steps to change if necessary. It is worth mentioning that you do not have to change everything at once in a short time. As we have already said, shaping organizational culture is a long-term process, therefore its adjustment must be consistent and gradual.
Fourthly, it is neither easy nor simple, because, as in life, many factors influence it, such as finding the right balance between work and life, adequate salary, right working conditions, market challenges, and, finally, global events, e.g. Covid-19 pandemic or war. The key is to find a balance because most of the time things are neither too bad nor too good.
Fifthly, being inside the organization and fully involved in internal processes, it is not easy to see and name the reasons why it is impossible to achieve the company’s set goals, attract the people who would be highly motivated, etc. Most often, some dissatisfaction and disputes just seem to flow without much effort to change anything. And we’re still trying to deal internally with our resources. In such cases, there is nothing to be afraid of, and obtaining an objective assessment from the outside is even advisable.
When is the best time to initiate changes in the organization?
Among HR consultants and HR management specialists, the term “organizational maturity” is used, this is the stage when the company goes through the stages of request and refusal and turns to the employee. Then companies look for ways to assess the current situation, analyze the causes and make decisions. At this stage, it is reasonable to use employee assessment tools that allow you to objectively measure employee engagement, emotional commitment, and loyalty to the organization, measure the organization’s pulse – microclimate. To make it clear what we’re talking about, let’s discuss each of those elements separately.
Employee engagement and loyalty
Employee engagement is the degree to which employees invest their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral energies toward positive organizational outcomes. They don’t just work for a reward, promotion, or paycheck. Engaged employees are absorbed in and enthusiastic about their work, they find a greater sense of meaning in what they do.
According to Kevin Kruse (LEADx, CEO) in a FORBES review, employee engagement does not mean happiness. Some may feel happy at work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are working hard and productively for the organization. As long as companies have game rooms, free spa, or parties, it’s fun. And that may be good for other reasons, but employee satisfaction is a different thing than employee engagement. Employee engagement does not even mean job satisfaction. Many companies fill in and use “employee job satisfaction” questionnaires and surveys, but this indicator is much narrower than employee engagement. A satisfied employee can come to work every day from 9 to 5 without complaint, but at the same time, he will not necessarily put more effort into work.
It is, therefore, necessary to distinguish between the terms “engagement” and “job satisfaction”, although they often overlap, there are fundamental differences between them. Engaged employees are enthusiastic and feel the importance and significance of their work. A committed employee is persistent, proactive, flexible, and goes beyond job descriptions. The most direct influence on employee engagement is the manager or team leader who assigns tasks, trusts, evaluates, and communicates on a daily basis. Meanwhile, satisfied employees feel good in their workplace, and the level of employee satisfaction with the organization is often related to factors that the organization can control (such as salary, benefits, job security, etc.). Both factors are important in the long-term development of the organization, without one it will be difficult to achieve the other, but the priority always should be to increase employee engagement.
Engaged employees are the main and fundamental responsibility of the manager
Managers are responsible for making sure employees know what work needs to be done, supporting them and advocating their ideas when needed, and explaining how their work relates to the organization’s success. To succeed managers should stay in touch with employees through regular conversations.
Unfortunately, most managers do not know how to make those conversations meaningful and give or get regular feedback. So mostly their actions are most often referred to as micromanagement, without giving the employee the right tools and direction.
Gallup research has shown that employees who receive daily feedback from their superiors will be 3 times more engaged than those who receive feedback once a year or less.
Therefore, it is not enough to simply tell team leaders to step in and train their teams.
According to a Gallup 2020 study „The Employee Engagement and Performance“, teams with more engaged employees reduce negative impacts on the organization such as turnover and absenteeism, and thus significantly increase the success of the organization. The results showed that companies with more engaged employees achieved 23% higher profitability, 10% higher customer loyalty, and 18% higher productivity.
This means that focusing on greater employee engagement is a worthwhile investment for any business.
eNPS –employee Net Promoter Score
The Employee Promoter Score is one of the most commonly used indicators to measure employee engagement and job satisfaction. This indicator is included in various employee surveys. The employee is asked if he would recommend the organization he works for to others. This indicator was created by Fred Reichheld (Bain & Company, partner) in 2003 to measure how well an organization cares for its employees or how well it creates loyal relationships with employees.
Depending on the employees’ answers on a scale of 0 to 10, respondents are divided into 3 categories:
- would recommend: engaged employees with an eNPS score of 9 or 10
- neutral: employees with an eNPS score of 7 or 8
- would not recommend: employees with an eNPS score between 0 and 6
Employees who would recommend the company they work for
Those employees are satisfied with their jobs. They make a positive contribution to building the company’s image and promoting growth. Enthusiastic employees contribute to the success of the organization by creating positive customer experiences through their work and providing creative and innovative ideas for improving products, processes, and services. The corporate culture responds to the needs of those employees and inspires them to perform at their best. Unfortunately, it is worth mentioning that many companies that see those engaged employees in eNPS surveys do not pay attention to them and feel that there is no need to continue and encourage them to stay engaged.
Those employees are satisfied with their job and their working environment but are open to other companies’ offers. Neutral employees are unlikely to recommend the organization they work for, but they also don’t speak negatively about it. Recognizing and identifying such employees during an eNPS survey is extremely important, as even engaged employees can fall into this category if not given proper attention. Neutral employees are therefore those employees whose commitment can be increased by implementing the necessary changes.
Employees who would not recommend the company they work for
Those employees are not satisfied with their jobs and their working environment. And the risk of such employees leaving their jobs is extremely high. Therefore, urgent measures must be taken to prevent this from happening. You can identify the reasons for low employee engagement during the interview and take steps to increase engagement.
Salary is no longer the primary determinant of employee loyalty and productivity. Employees want to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and know that their time and contribution are valued by their organization. Cooperation, flexibility, and corporate culture also determine the experience and engagement of the employees.
The eNPS is just a question that indicates if changes are needed in the organization. So this index should or even must be included in an employee feedback program to provide more meaningful context when looking for reasons. And then, after taking actions to increase employee engagement, conduct regular eNPS assessments to see what impact the actions have had. The eNPS index is a tool to measure the pulse of an organization.
The higher the engagement of the employees, the more successful the organization
Every company is like a living organism and it is important to work consistently and constructively. The better we work inside the organization, the better results we get outside of it, it’s a direct dependency. All of the above indicators, research, and surveys are important to create and build an organization that people would love to work for, who would recommend them to others, and most importantly, an organization that successfully achieves its goals thanks to its happy and engaged employees. Employee engagement is an intangible value based on emotional connection and correct communication. Great attention needs to be paid to employee engagement as other important factors for the organization indirectly depend on it: lower turnover, higher productivity, and better customer service experience.
Employee engagement and employee experience survey allow you to see the actual situation in the organization and create an action plan to implement the necessary changes and monitor the progress of implementing the changes.