HR Answers: KPIs That Can Improve Employee Engagement

diverse and happy young team of business colleagues high five
By David Mizne

4 minutes

Evaluating performance feedback, retention and onboarding processes is key to a happy and productive workforce.

A credit union is just like any other business: It needs motivated and productive employees in order to succeed. That’s why, if you’re a credit union that prides itself on top notch HR practices, you need to prioritize employee engagement.

Engaged employees aren’t simply more productive than others. They inspire their coworkers, they propose innovative ideas, and they are more likely to stay with your organization instead of looking for employment elsewhere.

This is a major reason why engagement is important. The average cost of turnover per employee is $15,000 according to a study by the Work Institute. Your credit union can actively avoid unnecessary expenses if your workers are happy in their roles.

Of course, understanding the need to boost engagement doesn’t translate to knowing how to do so successfully. These key performance indicators can help. Use them along with consistent performance evaluations to boost engagement and determine if your current strategy is working.

1. Feedback

Employees constantly want to know if their managers are happy with their performance and if they are headed in the right direction. In fact, one recent survey as reported by Forbes indicates approximately 65% of employees wish to receive more feedback from supervisors, not less.

When employees know they are performing well, they are more confident in their roles, which can improve real and perceived member service. When leaders communicate that an employee or team needs to make certain improvements and why, they are better-equipped to make the necessary changes. This is the simple reason performance feedback breeds engagement.

Your job as an HR professional isn’t to offer feedback to employees who don’t work directly under you. Instead, your job is to survey employees from each department and gauge if they are happy with the degree of feedback they currently receive. If employees in a particular department report wanting more feedback, coordinate with their managers to discuss how the credit union can better fulfill needs and expectations.

2. Recognition

Feedback doesn’t always need to be positive. If an employee is struggling, it’s on their managers to help guide them in the right direction. They’ll be more likely to improve if they understand what changes need to be made.

That said, it’s also important for managers to acknowledge positive employee contributions. Doing so can boost engagement significantly.

This is another point HR should ask about in employee surveys. Don’t stop at finding out if workers feel they are receiving enough feedback in general. You also need to find out if they are getting the recognition they deserve. If they aren’t, address this with their respective managers.

3. Retention

Surveys consistently indicate that today’s workers are no longer content remaining in the same job, with one set of responsibilities, for years on end. Many people leave organizations for other jobs because they are eager to reach the next stage of their careers, and this is often the quickest way for them to do so.

As such, your credit union needs to provide its workforce with the right growth opportunities. This involves making sure employees clearly understand the path to promotion and what’s expected of them to get there. It also means providing them with greater access to educational and training resources. Reward strong performance with new responsibilities and higher pay or benefits to match.

Taking these steps will have a positive impact on employee retention. However, it’s still important to measure retention by comparing your turnover rate to the industry average. If your rate is above average, you may need to take additional steps to boost retention.

This is another instance where it helps to survey employees. Find out what factors influence their decision to stay or seek other jobs. Most importantly, take action based on their responses. Do employees generally seem to agree they’d be more likely to stay with your credit union if they had flexible scheduling options? If so, it’d be advantageous to strategize more flexible scheduling options for your employees.

4. Onboarding

Review your onboarding processes to determine if there is room for improvement and survey current employees to get their impressions.

Maybe you’ll find training isn’t emphasized enough. New hires may struggle at your credit union because they weren’t given enough time to develop certain skills or knowledge required for their roles. 

Perhaps onboarding protocols don’t do enough to introduce new employees to their coworkers. As a result, they might feel they aren’t connected to the workplace culture.

Measure the effectiveness of your onboarding processes by comparing your 90-day new hire success rate to the industry average. If you’re missing the mark, you need to re-evaluate your current protocols and adjust accordingly.

Boosting employee engagement through improved HR processes delivers a strong return on investment and gives your credit union a competitive edge. These key performance indicators will help you promote continuous reevaluation to keep your organization agile.

David Mizne is marketing communications manager at 15Five, San Francisco, a provider of continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, objectives tracking, peer recognition, one-on-ones and 360 reviews. Mizne’s articles have also appeared on The Next Web & The Economist Blog. Follow him @davidmizne.

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