The key to any successful business is successful employees. Successful employees have a desire to hit their targets and goals and perform in their roles. In his report published in 2009, David MacLeod in Engaging for Success (also known as the MacLeod Report) detailed the importance of employee engagement for organisational success and the positive impact it can have on the bottom line and company results.
The report indicated that good engagement practices could have a ‘positive impact on UK competitiveness and performance’.
What does this have to do with how HR departments can help employees succeed? Let’s take a look at ‘engagement’. ‘Engaged’ employees are motivated to achieve, give discretionary effort, are committed to the organisation’s goals and values and are likely to succeed.
By understanding ‘engagement’ organisations can adopt these practices as part of their people strategy and ‘unleash the potential of their workforce’ and allow their people to ‘flourish and perform to their potential’ (MacLeod).
Making sure that the Company’s people strategy incorporates drivers for engagement at every stage of the employment cycle will help employees succeed and create an environment in which they are engaged, develop their skills, and will be supported in contributing to organisational success. With this in mind… what can HR Departments do to help their employees succeed?
Fair working practices, policies and procedures
Fit for purpose policies and procedures provide fairness and transparency and develop visual rules for all in the business. To be engaged and succeed people need to trust their employers and feel that they are being treated fairly.
HR can support employees in firstly making sure that companies’ ‘people policies’ and procedures are clear, reflective of company values, fit for purpose, legislatively correct and easily accessible. Knowing that you are being treated fairly and the Company is organised and structured is the basis to employee success.
Recruitment and Induction processes
Let’s start at the beginning of the employment cycle. To be successful in the role it must start with the right fit. The role is right for the employee and the employee is right for the role. Having a structured process which focuses on a match for future performance will be the best start!
Having a recruitment and induction process is the start of the employee’s journey with you and one which is congruent with company culture, aims and goals is the starting point of employee success. HR can support businesses in a well structured and fit for purpose onboarding process – recruiting and inducting the best people for the company and role, creating a sense of belonging and setting them up for success!
You know what is expected of you, you are happy that you fit the company culture and you are raring to go! Now let’s make sure that you receive the training you need to successfully achieve your goals.
Training must be incorporated into the people strategy – planned, budgeted training that HR flies the flag for!
Often, if the pressure is on, or budgets are tight, training can be the first to go and this will have a direct impact on the employee’s ability to succeed in their role. Training can take many forms; formal, coaching, on the job, shadowing, online. Identifying the best training for the employee and the company will help in supporting employees to succeed.
Regular review and feedback
How do you know how you are doing? To know that you are successful in your role and achieving your goals you need to have clear goals and measures and have the opportunity to talk about your performance. Providing a clear, structured review process for the company is a key management tool that HR can deliver and support, providing a mechanism for employees to receive regular feedback and encouragement. This can be 1:1’s, probationary reviews and a formal performance review process which focuses on objectives and capability.
Knowing how they are contributing to business success, the value they add and to have clear goals and resources to achieve these goals will engage your employees and support their success.
Having clear progression paths will retain talent and motivate and engage employees. Don’t lose your stars to other companies and give them the edge.
Progression should be included in the people strategy and can link to reviews as discussions take place to talk about future aspirations!
Making sure that decisions are based on ability and are fairly managed will support employees success. Good personal development plans and training will support in employees succeeding and achieving their aspirations and reaching their potential.
Good, solid communication
HR Departments can work with operational teams to look at how communication flows throughout the organisation and ensures that employees have the opportunity to give feedback and make suggestions about their own work and the overall company. Giving employees a ‘voice’ is key to engagement and success in a role.
Communication should reflect the company values and culture. Having trust in the organisation is integral to the engagement of employees and them performing to the best of their ability!
Managers as leaders – we’ve left the best until last!
The key thing that HR departments can do to support employee success at work is to coach and develop line managers to lead their teams effectively. Developing key leadership behaviours and management practices that will engage their teams and allow them to flourish!
Employees will succeed where they have managers that:
- Provide clear direction and expectations
- Have good communication skills
- Are able to give objective, timely feedback
- Have the confidence to have difficult conversations
- Recognise performance
- Build trust
In summary, HR support can have an impact on the success of employees through developing solid HR practices that encourage employees to succeed and to support, develop and coach the organisation’s leaders to engage and motivate their teams whilst managing their performance and having the skills to drive for results.
HR departments have influence and impact through people strategies that focus on engagement and exceptional leadership that will drive employee and business success.
With over 20 years HR generalist experience across all disciplines, Sarah has worked across a number of business sectors and understands the importance of robust and practical HR processes and trained, motivated and engaged people in delivering business success.
As Wurkplace’s Head of HR, she is passionate about both providing the best HR service to our Clients as well as recruiting, developing and retaining the best team.