How HR should leverage line management for engagement
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Employee satisfaction depends on a number of factors: pay, career development, feeling valued and recognition. A recent survey on employee satisfaction by Proclinical found that pay is only the 5th most important reason employees in the life sciences industry give for staying in the current job. Conversely, about half of them felt that they are not paid fairly. The top three things that they listed were: 1) promise of a challenging and skills relevant role, 2) career development and 3) recognition.
These findings are not restricted to the life sciences sector alone. Oracle’s own Simply Talent research shows that creating a work environment where people feel recognized and challenged is important. Often, this came down to a strong relationship between line managers and their teams. 42 percent of the employees across UK, France, Germany, Nordics and Benelux felt that their peers have the most positive impact on their engagement levels. A total of 60 percent of the employees wanted more proactive engagement from their line managers. And only 3 percent of employees view HR as having a positive impact on their engagement at work. While HR’s visibility among employees does not necessarily need to be that high, its role in making people more engaged is substantial.
“60 percent of the employees wanted more proactive engagement from their line managers”
So, how do they do it?
It is the information from HR systems and analytics that provide line managers with the modern tools they need to deliver on workers’ expectations for tailored feedback and guidance.
Enable personal interaction
Traditional management tools like annual appraisals and performance reviews are no longer enough on their own. Both Proclinical’s and Oracle’s research reveal that employees want more regular, personalized line management interaction that fosters career development and makes them feel their contributions to the business are valued.
Modern staff engagement methods like pulse surveys - where staff are asked short, snappy questions at frequent intervals to gauge the mood of the moment. Such surveys combined with techniques such as sentiment analysis are certainly a step in the right direction.
Opportunities to collaborate
Employees want to collaborate and work on interesting initiatives along with their peers. It is up to the HR and respective line managers to identify areas where they can collaborate. And it does not always have to do with work.
Business and public sector organizations agree on the link between effective line management and employee engagement. Oracle found that 58 percent of businesses believe recognizing the excellence of individual employees has a strong positive impact and 34 percent say line management has the greatest role in driving engagement - more than any other business department.
Armed with wide-ranging information from across the business, delivered by HR, line management can appropriately reward, progress and support their staff. And this will in turn help improve the way the entire business performs. About 56 per cent of employees say feeling more engaged at work makes them more productive, and that figures will only be boosted if HR can deliver the right tools and insights to line managers and the wider organization.