Increasing Employee Engagement to Improve Business Performance

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The Challenge:

A custom industrial electric and pneumatic control panel manufacturer in the Chicago regional area was experiencing increasing dissatisfaction and disengagement amongst the workforce. This prevented the organization from achieving its strategic goals, objectives, and desired financial results. It was determined by company leaders that a performance management improvement initiative would be undertaken.

It had been over two years since employees had received a formal annual  performance appraisal. The process the company was using was time-consuming, and relied on primarily on one individual to deliver a large number of reviews. Even in the absence of a formal review, supervisors did not routinely conduct informal, short conversations to provide employees feedback, encouragement, or challenge them to improve performance. 

Challenges were identified by assessing the workforce for the level of employee engagement, and the degree of transparency from leaders about organizational performance. Surveys identified the current state, and established a baseline measurement to measure business performance improvement over time. From the survey, employees indicated they did not have a clear understanding of how their decisions and actions affected financial outcomes, and did not feel that their contributions to achieve the organization’s goals were recognized or appreciated.

Employees also noted that they did not feel that their supervisor or someone else at work cared for them as a person. To fuel dissatisfaction, many employees had not had a wage increase over this two-year period.

The Results:

10% increase in employee engagement within 3 months. Increase in profits pending. 

How We Did It:

Before acting on specific performance improvement activities it was necessary to have in-depth knowledge about the organization's current state, strategy, objectives, and desired future state. Also, getting clear on who was accountable for the different functional areas, and key processes of the organization was crucial.

Once there was a thorough understanding about what key issues were facing the organization, work commenced to help the company face its top challenges through developing performance management and incentive systems. Implementation followed.

Practices that FOSTER ENGAGEMENT AND IMPROVED performance

  • Identified organizational strategy, goals, objectives, key initiatives
  • Analyzed key business functions and business processes; identified accountability gaps
  • Assigned accountability and leading behavioral metrics to key functional areas and business processes
  • Developed leading and lagging key performance indicators for all functional areas and business processes
  • Conducted employee meeting to communicate what and "why" we were embarking on this project to build employee buy-in and engagement
  • Assessed level of transparency between management and employees about organizational performance
  • Assessed level of employee engagement
  • Assessed level of financial literacy of workforce
  • Conducted a financial benchmarking analysis 
  • Identified priorities and actions to improve employee engagement and business performance
  • Conducted an employee meeting to share results of three assessments and present key issues identified
  • Developed a comprehensive Performance Management System
  • Developed a team-based Performance Incentive System
  • Developed scorecard of critical numbers
  • Identified development topics for current employees, new hires, managers and production staff
  • Developed a tool with selected criteria to hire people that are "best fit"
  • Implemented the performance management and incentive systems, and delivering classroom-based training to leaders, managers, and reviewers how to have effective performance management conversations. 

Click here to download the complete Case Study.