Employee engagement pres plus annotation Nicholas J Higgins VaLUENTiS HR Directors Summit Jan2012 dist
24th January Employee and, 2012PeopleScience® Engagement nothing the whole but truth, The Tour truth, the 2012 truth. Nicholas J Higgins CEO, VaLUENTiS & Dean, ISHCM DrHCMI MSc Fin (LBS) MBA (OBS) MCMI HR Directors Summit 2012 ICC Birmingham
„Is there an elephant in the room?‟(Every time you see this slide)
Employee Engagement Agenda• The Why and the What of engagement• The How of measuring engagement• Minding the gap (what’s going on here)• Engagement & organisation performance
Organisations and employee engagement:The 4-ball model: ‘We don’t...’ ‘It’s all about PR…’ Play down Play act ‘At least we audit/ benchmark...’ Play safe ‘We do it…’ The four progressive states of Play make employee engagement embeddedness in organisations LOGO
Employee Engagement Agenda• The Why and the What of engagement
Source: Question posed in VaLUENTiS „skunkworks‟ output 2003
3 1 “Organisations were looking for a quick-win means of improving performance” 2 “Organisations were looking for a means to differentiate for hiring talent in PR terms”Source: Question posed in VaLUENTiS „skunkworks‟ output 2003
Of course, this answerwas based on thepremise that mostorganisations were notoptimising their peoplemanagement….
• Embed an optimised people-productivity culture • Attempt to mitigate against operational employment risk • Means to collectively „evaluate‟ line management „competence‟ /organisational HCM • Provide benchmark data on the „soft‟ area of operations (quasi-audit) • Provide rationale and objective focus for management development programmes • Means of providing intelligence and/or empirical evidence used in conjunction with other organisation performance dataSecond order(derivative)rationale/spin-offs Source: Question posed in VaLUENTiS „skunkworks‟ output 2003
1a Primary rationale ‘say/do/evidence’exercise LOGO
1b Secondary rationale ‘say/do/evidence’exercise (limited to four) LOGO
Evidence that in fact the Primary reasons had swapped places (notwithstanding thedefinitions and slightly confusing categories) Source: HR Employee Engagement survey 2010 HR magazine
Source: Follow-on question posed in VaLUENTiS „skunkworks‟ 2003
This question proved the more difficult to answer as you see. It became more clearas more and more research was done that engagement was a concept (differing fromthe Macleod review definition) that had been in the making for some time, stretchingback to Taylor‟s (much misunderstood work).Employee engagement can be seen to have four levels: individual, immediate team,wider group and organisational (the micro-, macro- and meso- levels).Most, if not all of these theories have been subject to empirical evidence and anumber have received intense scrutiny. Some of the more well known ones have notalways stood up to such scrutiny but remain popular because of the acceptability ofthe idea. A number of these theories overlap whilst some occasionally conflict as youwould expect. Amongst all of the contributing authors we‟ve picked out a dozen of„the hard to ignore‟ variety.In our view, the understanding of employee engagement became clearer to definethrough distilling various contributions – „standing on the shoulders of giants‟, so tospeak. I‟d also point out that engagement as a concept is consistent with Kahn‟sconclusions back in 1990 – his article being acknowledged as a reference point.As „employee engagement‟ has grown in business focus we‟ve been concerned thatmuch published material/product on engagement has referenced so little with fewexceptions. Effectively, and collectively, as a movement „we‟ve‟ been sellingourselves short, expending much energy on the reinvention of wheels, and, sewingmuch confusion in the process (where have we heard that before?).Incidentally little has changed on this slide over the past ten years save moreresearch in these subjects, notably wellbeing and burnout…….
The concept of Employee Engagement: A synthesis of antecedent theories and empirical evidence with human capital management practice related to organisation performance – 100 years in the making •Leadership theory •Decision-making theory •Organisation performance & measurement* •Organisational „fit‟ theory •Conflict theory •High performance work systems •Commitment theory •Trust theory Human Capital Management practice/systems: •Goal setting and task theory •Teams theory •Group theory •Talent management •Expectancy theory •Performance management •Equity (justice) theory •Reward & recognition •Motivation theory •Employer brand •Job satisfaction •Human capital retention Individual Immediate Wider Organisation •Needs theory •Resourcing & selection Team Group •Trait theory •Training & Development •Social cognitive/ •Workforce diversity self efficacy theory •Leadership •Psychological contract •Organisation design •Organisation Citizenship Behaviour •Organisation communication •Taylor - Scientific management •Emotional Intelligence •Organisation culture •Munsterberg - Industrial psychology •Behaviourism •Fayol - Principles of management •Cognitive dissonance •Follett - Management relations/integration •Learning theory •Mayo/Hawthorne studies •Wellbeing/Burnout •Lewin (MIT) - group dynamics/behaviour •Other I/O psychology •Likert – Management system/measurement scale contributions •Tavistock – Socio-technical systems •McGregor Theory X/Y •Hertzberg – Two factor theorySource: The antecedents of Employee Engagement, Nicholas J Higgins - VaLUENTiS technical paper 2003 •Drucker – Practice of managementAlso in Employee Engagement: The Definitive Guide, forthcoming •Kahn – Personal engagement
“Employee engagement is an„outcome-based‟ concept.It is the term used to describe thedegree to which employees can beascribed as „aligned‟ and „committed‟ toan organisation such that they are attheir most productive.”VaLUENTiS International School of HCM2005
More likely to More likely to More likely to produce higher achieve goals embrace set grade/quality of set values work (less errors) More likely to be More likely to give flexible to discretionary effort More likely to ‘own’ More inclined to More inclined toorganisation needs above contractual their development input into ideas/ share knowledge (if equitable) obligations innovation Less likely to suffer Less inclined to Less likely to stress Less likely to take days off move employer (but more likely to commit suffer burn-out) fraud/sabotage ‘Most productive’ meaning…individuals are:
Our model incorporates five interlocking domains (constructs) which then provide anoverall primary construct.The five domains can each provide sub-constructs depending on focus whererequired.When relating to surveys/questionnaires we remain consistent with Likert‟s originalmeaning of scale, i.e. not the item response format which most have come tomislabel but the use of the item response format against a defined construct….
I‟ve mentioned some of the greats – one of those being Kurt Lewin. He is mostlyremembered in the OD field with his forcefield analysis which has been muchimitated and applied in other contexts.Employee engagement of an individual can be though of as a daily flow of constantcompeting forces (vectors) affecting the individual‟s level as shown here with anillustration.Pragmatically, organisations have tended to make use of annual employee surveys(in some cases quarterly etc) as a means of a proxy of gauging employeeengagement levels; it can be thought of as similar to finance producing accounts,for example.This type of approach provides for analysis, intervention and evaluation when lookingat engagement and I expect more and more of this application as organisationsfinally get past „Go‟ in their approach to improving employee engagement...Note I‟m not spending too much time on surveys and measurement in today‟spresentation.
poorlycommunicatedreorganisation perceived short-staffed reward inequity interpersonal planned conflict training cancelled uncaring incentive new boss misalignmentenlarged Well-receivedrole performance appraisal hit personal hit team targets/ targets/ objectives objectives salary enrolled on MD increase programmeEmployee engagement as a sum of constant work‘forces’ (illustrative vectors)
2 Organisation approach to definingemployee engagement exercise LOGO
The concept of Employee Engagement: A synthesis of antecedent theories and empirical evidence with human capital management practice related to organisation performance – 100 years in the making •Leadership theory •Decision-making theory •Organisation performance & measurement* •Organisational „fit‟ theory •Conflict theory •High performance work systems •Commitment theory •Trust theory Human Capital Management practice/systems: •Goal setting and task theory •Teams theory •Group theory •Talent management •Expectancy theory •Performance management •Equity (justice) theory •Reward & recognition •Motivation theory •Employer brand •Job satisfaction •Human capital retention Individual Immediate Wider Organisation •Needs theory •Resourcing & selection Team Group •Trait theory •Training & Development •Social cognitive/ •Workforce diversity self efficacy theory •Leadership •Psychological contract •Organisation design •Organisation Citizenship Behaviour •Organisation communication •Taylor - Scientific management •Emotional Intelligence •Organisation culture •Munsterberg - Industrial psychology •Behaviourism •Fayol - Principles of management •Cognitive dissonance •Follett - Management relations/integration •Learning theory •Mayo/Hawthorne studies •Wellbeing/Burnout •Lewin (MIT) - group dynamics/behaviour •Other I/O psychology •Likert – Management system/measurement scale contributions •Tavistock – Socio-technical systems •McGregor Theory X/Y •Hertzberg – Two factor theory •Drucker – Practice of managementSource: The antecedents of Employee Engagement, Nicholas J Higgins - VaLUENTiS technical paper 2003 •Kahn – Personal engagement
Just a quick note – some of you may have spotted that the HCM elements associatedwith the organisation (to the right of the diagram) bear a resemblance to ourmanagement pathfinder evaluation and you would be right. This is in fact how itcame into being…..
Requires Reverse engineering the a definition employee engagement Requires some question….. underlying construct Requires some form of measurement/ evaluation Requiring better Leveraging distributed „positive‟ leadership/ associations management /events Minimising „negative Through associations improving /events‟ productivity Improve business performance through peopleSource: VaLUENTiS „skunkworks‟ simplified collective output 2003
I‟ve said I‟m only going to touch briefly on surveys and measurement today and I‟llkeep my promise.I just want to illustrate a model we introduced a few years back to highlight thepotential problems with employee engagement construct and survey design.The Y-axis represents the breadth and balance of items (what we call question-statements) included.The X-axis represents the design and balance of the statements themselves and theresponse format chosen.The model shows four potential outcomes – only one of which is useful.We would urge organisations to always check their design, whether providedinternally or externally. Coming up short on either axis is undesirable.The last thing you want is to base interventions on potential G-I-G-O „blind‟scenarios…..
The employee survey expertise modelHIGH HCM subject matter expertise Myopic 20/20 Foresight 16% 8% Blind Unfocused 51% 25% Survey instrument design & measurement expertiseLOW HIGH LOGO Sample: 147 employee surveys. All organisations with over 750 employees. ISHCM research team. Study carried out 2006-7
Q-S (question-statement) design errortypology: avoiding the pitfalls I. Leading questions II. Double barrelled/multiple questions III. Knowledge or projection (proxy) IV. Response extremity V. Responses open to social desirability/prestige VI. Responses implying causality VII. Questions that impose unwarranted assumptions VIII. Questions that include hidden contingencies IX. Questions that include ambiguous time periods X. Questions containing concepts that are open to differing interpretation XI. Question that duplicates another or is a reverse of another XII. Questions requiring a tendency to acquiesce and/or imply „psychological threat or hostility XIII. Questions that are exclusively positively or exclusively negatively clustered XIV. Questions which are culturally loaded and or overly long Source: VaLUENTiS QS methodology 2003
Engagement responses: Scoring high ‘The Good The OK and •Work and sense of personal accomplishment •Pride in working for the organisation •Opportunity to utilise skills The Ugly’ •Adequate training to perform the job •Personal values/company values aligned •Honesty and integrity in business activities •Accurate evaluation of performance in last appraisal Scoring midrange •Physical working environment •Adequate resources to work effectively •Company values visible in the day-to-day activities of my team •Receiving recognition for doing a good job •Understanding how to get promoted •Equity of being paid compared with others in organisation Scoring low •Company doing a good job in providing opportunities for advancement •Well-being of employees when management make important decisions •Senior management in touch with everyday issues •Equity of being paid compared with others in other companies who hold similar jobs •Clear communication of rationale behind promotion and career developmentSource: VaLUENTiS Engagement database, collated since 2004Please note: Actual Question-statements paraphrased for the purposes of this slide
Management – just how many have a ‘license to manage’....?• Managers are significantly under-qualified compared to other professional occupations: 41% of managers hold below a Level 2 qualification…….• …..Just 38.5% of managers and senior officials are qualified at level 4 and above, compared to 80.9% of those in other professional occupations.”• “It is estimated that the proportion of managers with management-related qualifications will not get much above 20 per cent in the longer term at the current rate of achievement……..• ….. The literature review revealed that there is a growing body of evidence showing the impact of not only management skills but management qualifications on productivity.” Source: The Value of Management Qualifications, Chartered Management Institute 2007
We along with others recognise the big factor in employee engagement – namely linemanagement.What perhaps is not so recognised is the issue of engagement with individualmanagers themselves.It is extremely unlikely that highly engaged employees will be found working formanagers who have low engagement themselves. And even if they did – it wouldn‟tbe for long.We recently took a random sample of manager engagement scores from ourdatabase to provide a picture. The next two slides show the same data in twodifferent formats – the bell curve and percentile histogram.I don‟t have time today to go into great detail but I would ask you note the 1 in 7managers whose score is more than 1 (negative) standard deviation from the norm.In this sample, 1 in 7 managers equates to about 3000 employees. That‟s a seriousconcern…………….
The ‘Broken Windows’ hypothesisThe theory states that monitoring and maintaining urbanenvironments in a well-ordered condition may stop furthervandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime. Applied to engagement… The theory states that monitoring and maintaining work environments in a well-ordered management condition may stop further engagement erosion as well as an escalation into more serious disengagement issues.
One other interesting application re line management I‟d like to touch on today – the„Broken Windows‟ theory.Some of you may be familiar with this – particularly if you‟ve read Malcolm Gladwell‟s„The Tipping Point‟. The actual research dates back to 1982 with Wilson and Kelling‟swork (and later Kelling and Coles) – the central tenet being that the monitoring andmaintaining of urban environments in a well-ordered condition may stop furthervandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime; i.e. broken windowsbeget more broken windows etc.Though the theory has come in for some criticism – notably Harcourt, it remains apowerful concept.And thus for a moment I‟d like you to conceive the Broken Windows metaphorapplied to line management, switching a few words for appropriateness.Rather revealing? And maybe useful for organisation messages.Thus the manager who keeps, for example, (i) postponing an individual‟s appraisal,(ii) late with signing off expenses, (iii) taking time off him/herself at short noticewhilst not tolerating others in the same manner, (iv) not confronting a persistentlateness offender, (v) not instilling office tidiness and so on………well you get thesimilarities……I‟m sure you can identify with many more……….And whilst we‟re on the subject of line management and „license to manage‟ - here‟ssome common problems and some suggested fixes.The question is do you recognise these and what fixes are taking place, or aren‟tthey?
The ‘people competency’ of linemanagement.........common problems ...‟fixes‟• Lack of understanding across • Clear communicated framework of managers as to what good people good people management practice management is and its impact together with learning exposure• Varied mix of line managers with • Utilise management competency variation in people practice and platform with structured programme resulting issues of learning and assessments• No set bar to becoming line „people • Adopt „license to manage‟ standard manager‟, i.e. no „license to manage‟ with appropriate hurdles and gradings• Too many „B‟-players in managerial • Instigate talent assessment where positions who limit employee necessary, with career option route- engagement potential paths including exit• Too often, HR as „personnel function‟ • Assess if issue relates to culture, compensates for deficiencies vague role definition or both, in conjunction with above actions
The traditional view of employee engagementcontributing to improved organisationalperformance... Higher Higher Higher employee organisation productivity engagement performance
The emerging view of human capital managementpractice and employee engagement contributing toimproved organisational performance (as a system) More effective human capital management Higher Higher organisation productivity performance Higher employee engagement
However, remember the converse..... More ineffective human capital management Lower Lower organisation productivity performance Lower employee engagement
So how do organisations go about improving employee engagement in a coordinatedcoherent manner?A very good question. Most case studies, or more precisely mini-case study capsulesprovide little insight („the more and more providing less and less‟).When we refer to case studies we refer to the Harvard-types used at the School(ISHCM) or sometimes in our management workshops where much more learningtakes place.Thus, increasingly, we‟re finding the „EE playbook‟, or „Definitive EE playbook‟ givingits correct name, of great value.The book in itself doesn‟t necessarily have to exist per se but the contents do.I‟ve shown an example EE playbook on the next slide and examples of operating EEsystem models, including the original Sears model which is now almost 20 years oldand how these types of models have advanced. Again I don‟t have time to go intogreat detail today but you get the gist of what‟s its about.I‟d like to think all HR departments have one though preferably it should bedistributed around the organisation. It‟s the symbolism here that counts as much asthe detail.
The ‘Definitive EE’ Playbook P E R Leadership F Goal Team O alignment development R M A Work environment N C Performance E appraisal Managing Incentives conflict Role design
What organisations (HR) keep gettingwrong (this is a short ‘shortlist’)… Strategies Contents 1. Engagement strategies 2. Engagement operating „system‟ models and analytics templates 3. Question-statement selection and Models construct design 4. Measurement index construction, maintenance and reporting 5. Engagement Driver Factor (EDF) Implementation analysis 6. Engagement „forcefield‟ analysis 7. EE project management methodology and flowcharts 8. Engagement „issue work-through‟ Learning tools 9. Management learning programme design and evaluative criteria 10. Engagement Transformation Programme (ETP) methodology 11. Core applied theory summary capsules 12. Human Capital Management framework 4 EE playbook
A look back at The original Sears ‘system’ model… Employee Revenue Retention GrowthInternal Employee External Customer Customerservice Satisfaction Service Satisfaction Loyalty quality Value Employee Profitability Productivity Putting the Service-Profit chain to work Heskett, Jones, Loveman, Sasser Jr & Schlesinger Harvard Business Review Mar-Apr 1994
6 Employee Engagement: Organisationreality exercise LOGO
We could spend a whole day just on this slide (but we’re not!)…… Source: HR Employee Engagement survey 2010 HR magazine
Now you‟ve hopefully been completing the „quick and dirty‟ mini–exercises along theway.By now you should have a (little) more informed view of where your organisation (orchosen organisation) is?And so, to return to the beginning and the 4-ball model – the question is where isyour organisation?PLAY-DOWNPLAY-ACTPLAY-SAFEPLAY-MAKE?Your initiation has begun………Thank you.
Organisations and employeeengagement practice model: ‘We don’t...’ ‘It’s all about PR…’ Play down Play act ‘At least we audit/ benchmark...’ Play safe ‘We do it…’ The four progressive states of Play make employee engagement embeddedness in organisations LOGO
Employee Engagement Agenda• The truth• The whole truth• And nothing but the truth (well as we see it, anyway!)Thanks for participating……
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