As a leader, how often did you realise that performance metrics provide little help for long-term growth? If it is all about getting the work done, performance metrics will help you and provide you with directions to fare better. However, when you are dealing with people, and changing situations, you need to consider the engagement level of each employee to focus on long-term growth for all the parties involved. As a manager, you can use various drivers to tweak the employee engagement factor for all the employees to strike a balance and achieve synergy out of the teams. Here is a process that can help managers and leaders to tweak employee engagement to get optimum performance from the team.

Across the team, not all members perform in the same way. Knowing the performance levels is the first step. Then, match the performance levels with individual skills, capacities, and experience levels. As you keep working with the team, you will get a fair idea of the individual priorities and preferences when it comes to handling work and managing time. Use the data gathered thus to prepare a rating scale with respect to employee engagement and plot each team member accordingly.

Influential factors: If you can trend the performance of the team and individual employees over a period of time, you can analyse the team performance trend and individual performance. Thus, you will be able to differentiate the factors that influence the team as a whole and the factors that yield individual influence.

You might also be surprised to learn that there are some factors that have contradictory influence on different team members. For example, a change in office timings might make some employees happy as they can come earlier and go home earlier. However, another group might prefer to work late nights and come late to work.

Consider the employee engagement magnitude along with the influential factors to normalise and categorise employees under one of the three categories – employees who are not engaged, employees who are engaged, and employees who are over engaged.

Remember to avoid calculating performance metrics as engagement metrics. An employee might be over engaged to the job and might take a great amount of time to invent an innovative way to get things done better. In turn, such an employee might lag behind in the regular quantum of work. Hence, it helps to have a list of recommendations for each employee along with the categorisation. Gather recommendations from seniors who have dealt with similar members. Refer to organisational policies about the allowed wiggle room when it comes to serving the customers.

Each one: You must have a list of ideas that help improve employee engagement, such as counselling and communication. Do not jump to conclusions and apply these to the different categories of employees. Speak to all the stakeholders – your boss, the employee, and the customers and identify any other reasons behind the lack of engagement or the reasons behind over engagement. Likewise, you can also decipher the facts that yielded to a decline in engagement and performance of an employee.

Make use of recommendations that you have noted earlier in preparing a strategy for the employees. While some employees have the ability and interest to perform better and engage more in the job, they might be discouraged because of lack of knowledge. You can also include some training as a part of the strategy to improve their engagement levels.

Going further, discuss with employees and let them know that your focus is to improve the engagement level so that all parties benefit. Focus on the individual long-term goals of the employee and communicate this effectively so that the employee cooperates with a great amount of zeal. Remember that employee attrition can be arrested if the employees are fully committed and engaged to their work and inspire other employees too in this direction.

Chakravarthy Tenneti