HR Corner: Employee Engagement

April 23, 2014
If you suddenly won the lottery, would you show up to work the next day? If you are engaged, you might. A Gallup poll shows that sixty-three percent of engaged employees are likely to continue in their current job after winning a ten million dollar windfall (Gallup, 2013.)  The Department of Human Resources uses employee engagement survey results to enhance the employment experience on campus.
 
Often by survey, employee engagement is measured by determining the level of agreement an employee feels when presented with a series of questions or statements that drive one’s relationship with the organization, leadership, work and commitment to the university’s mission.  Knowing what is expected of you at work, having the right resources to complete your work, recognition, supervisor-employee relationships, commitment to work and organization, and opportunities to learn and grow are common areas of interest when measuring employee engagement. 
 
In 2012, the Department of Human Resources (HR) set out to measure the level of employee engagement of classified and university staff (employees) on the Boulder campus.  A tremendous amount of feedback was provided and based on responses; HR identified five key themes and goals: recognition, childcare and eldercare, leadership development, career advancement, and compensation. 
 
The 2012 survey highlighted the continuing need for greater recognition of employees on campus. HR set a goal to further increase the number of recognition programs on campus by 20% by January 1, 2014. Through continuous outreach efforts, this goal has been reached and HR continues to work with campus departments to develop and enhance recognition programs. 
 
Survey results indicated that employees were largely unaware of available childcare and eldercare resources. Shortly after the survey concluded, the campus announced its partnership with Bright Horizons Care Advantage (Sittercity and Years Ahead.)  HR set a goal to reach 1,000 enrollments in the Sittercity and Years Ahead programs by January 1, 2014. Through outreach, HR is excited to announce it has exceeded its goal with more than 1,200 enrollments.   
 
The survey results also reflected that employees at all levels of the organization wanted leadership development and mentoring programs to help them be more successful in their positions. As a result, Organizational and Employee Development (OED) started to explore options to provide leadership development programs. Managing the CU-Boulder Way is a two-day program which focuses specifically on the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful manager at CU-Boulder.  Participants learn to support and inspire employees, engage employees and foster a positive work culture, connect with valuable resources on the CU-Boulder campus, and understand best practices, policies and procedures. 
 
By 2012, classified staff had not received a base building increase in over four years and university staff increases had been modest.  The survey results indicated understandable frustration regarding the lack of merit and base-building salary increases. In 2013, classified and university staff saw modest increases. The Department of Human Resources continues to advocate for base building pay increases for campus employees. 
 
Survey results also indicated employees' desire for greater career advancement and guidance regarding how to advance their career on our campus. HR has compiled a list of a variety of resources available on our campus and within our community to help employees explore ways to seek to advance their career. Furthermore, HR recognizes that employee engagement, motivation, and retention are dependent upon people working in jobs well suited to their interests, and therefore offers transfer opportunities for current employees. 
 
Employee engagement is an ongoing commitment from both the organization and employee. HR has reached all of the employee engagement goals it set, but isn’t stopping there. Recognizing now more than ever the importance the impact engagement can have on an employee’s experience, HR continues to explore new ways to enhance employee engagement on the CU-Boulder campus. 
 
To learn more about  the Department of Human Resources employee engagement initiative, we invite you to visit http://hr.colorado.edu/es/recognition/ee/Pages/default.aspx.
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