Engaging employees creates a win-win situation for Southwire: employees feel connection to and meaning in their work, which drives our financial bottom line through increased productivity and initiative. Southwire’s approach to employee engagement intertwines with talent development. By offering unique professional development opportunities, employees enhance their skills, increase their comfort taking risks and heighten levels of engagement.
Southwire partners with a third party to conduct our employee engagement survey every 18 months, which identifies areas of strengths and areas for opportunities within the company. We provide this anonymous, online survey to all full-time Southwire employees. Based on the results of this assessment, the company’s leaders create goals and plans to sustain success in areas of high achievement and to develop stronger engagement in those categories which have been identified for improvement. Read more about how we respond to the results of our employee engagement surveys in our highlight story.
Southwire’s employee engagement score goal is 80 percent favorable or higher; survey creator PwC states that scores of at least 74 percent show high employee engagement. We also carefully monitor the number of voluntary survey responses we receive to offer insight into the robustness of our engagement. Our target participation rate is 90 percent. See Our Performance below for our scores.
Between formal engagement surveys, we complete Pulse Checks approximately every six months to measure progress in categories with our lowest scores. In December 2015, we completed our most recent employee engagement Pulse Check, focused on the four categories in the 2014 survey with our lowest engagement scores: communication, vision and strategies, career development, and training. We share our results via electronic Pulse Check Boards in each of our facilities.
We take the results of our engagement surveys very seriously. Our 2014 survey demonstrated a need for Southwire to help employees better understand their link to our mission and vision. In response, we designed initiatives to place greater focus on “creating a line of sight” from employees to the company’s vision. Then-CEO Stu Thorn created an employee video about Southwire’s vision and strategy; leaders pre-screened the video and then worked with employees to ensure understanding. Southwire urged managers to sit down and converse more often with employees. We also established a Performance Acceleration feedback program to communicate with employees on where they stand and how they can grow. A follow-up Pulse Check in 2015 revealed a jump from 65 percent to 73 percent in our employee engagement rate.
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