Increase Employee Engagement with Goals Transparency

employee engagement through goals transparency

Employee Engagement is a major problem at companies today.  Study after study has sounded the alarm about low levels of employee engagement.  Gallup’s 2015 survey found that less than 30% of U.S. employees say they are engaged at their jobs.  That’s appalling!  One of the primary reasons given for low employee engagement is that employees feel they have no connection to the mission of the company.   Employees either don’t know what the mission is or they don’t see a link between their day to day responsibilities and the larger goals of the company.

To be more precise, employees don’t know what they should be doing in order to further the company’s mission.  According to the Gallup survey, only about half of all workers strongly indicate that they know what is expected of them at work.


Why is employee engagement important?

Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202% and employee disengagement costs more than $500 billion per year to the U.S. economy.


So, how do you get your employees to understand how they impact the company and thereby improve employee engagement?

We believe the answer is Transparency.

This means rejecting the old ways of setting strategy at the Executive level and slowly trickling out the information one level of the management hierarchy at a time so that by the time it reaches the front line workers it is watered-down and uninspiring.  Evidence of this being a problem can be found in a stat from a recent Bain Consulting survey that only 40% of the workforce knew about their company’s goals, strategies and tactics.


To improve the transparency of company goals and improve employee engagement, follow this approach:

Step 1: Gather Employees’ Ideas

Invite all employees to participate in a brainstorming session to gather any and all ideas that could improve the company’s performance and culture.  We recommend that this step be an ongoing one by creating an online “Idea Board” (see the example below).  This Idea Board would have categories for key areas of the company such as Marketing, Operational Efficiency, Customer Satisfaction, Cost Control, Employee Morale, etc.  This democratic method results in the best ideas rather than those coming from sheltered executive suites.

It’s also often a good idea to incorporate some level of gamification and incentive to this idea-gathering process.  One approach might be to give a point to each idea that is add to the Idea Board and an extra 3 points for any ideas that make ‘the cut’ and become a part of the company’s goals.

Sample “Idea Board” from AddProgress


Step 2: Create 3-4 Company Objectives and Share with the Company

Before the start of a quarter, take a snapshot of the latest Idea Board.  Using all of the suggestions from the Idea Board as inspiration, the leadership team should create 3-4 high level objectives for the entire company.  Sometimes an Idea Board suggestion will become a company objective.  But more often a company objective turns out to be a larger concept that encompasses several Idea Board goals.

Be completely transparent in explaining how these specific objectives were selected.  Show what Idea Board suggestions contributed to the final company objectives.  Finally, describe how each objective will positively impact the mission of the company.


Step 3: Have Employees add Individual Goals to the Company Objectives

Now that you’ve included employees in the development of the company’s objectives and clearly shared those with the organization, it’s time for the next step.  Have each employee come up with individual goals that will help achieve the Company Objectives.  Since the Company Objectives Board was already shared with all employees, they can enter their goals directly on the Board.  This is the opportunity for employees to understand how their day to day job duties will impact the company mission.

Sample “Company Objectives Board” from AddProgress


If you want help increasing your company’s employee engagement through goals transparency, please sign-up for a free trial of AddProgress and use our Inspiration Boards to jumpstart your process.

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