Businessman and author Lawrence Bossidy once remarked,
“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies”.
This holds especially true in today’s cut-throat, dog-eats-dog business environment, where numbers determine growth and ostentatious presentations signify success.
The old adage of ‘human resources doesn’t simply mean what we do mechanically, but it’s the thing which runs the business,’ sometimes takes the back-burner. Therefore, the role of HR professionals has become even more vital in today’s age. This article will try to anatomise the vital elements which form the employee engagement wheel and debunk a few myths about what it does not signify.
Let’s start with a few common notions about employee engagement, which may not be entirely correct—
1) Out-perking competition leads to satisfied employees. While perks are a great way to generate excitement, they are not the benchmarks on which engagement can be gauged. After a point, the dart board, foosball in the office cafeteria, free snacks and t-shirts become an obvious entitlement. The question which will start seeping into the minds is, what more?
2) Engagement surveys and employee satisfaction are benchmarks. A survey sent to all employees with set questions does not reveal the entire truth. Even a hitherto satisfied employee may have small issues which might hinder their productivity in due course or has already started impacting them. Punctuality and regularity may not mean that the employee is giving his best and taking ownership. It’s the drive within, which needs to be harnessed by the company.
The engagement modus operandi —
True engagement creates results. It involves both feeling and acting, as well as putting in discretionary effort. Autonomy, growth, and impact result in engagement. When the functions within the organisation give ownership to the individuals, they give more than what their daily routine stipulates and hence grow faster. Similarly, high impact demands more intrinsic engagement activities.
Here are 5 great ideas to smartly engage your employees:
1) A good sagacity of contribution
Being around other intellectuals allows imaginative work surroundings, teamwork and disorderly improvement. Employers should offer an advanced work environment principle to their employees, where it cares as much about performance on individual KRAs as inputs on a variety of related or unrelated topics. In short, voices need to be heard and creativity acknowledged. The employer should deeply inspire their employees to spend 10-15% of their time tracking innovative thoughts that they are obsessive about.
2) Training and development
A culture of mentoring and nurturing talent is the key to better engagement. One-on-one career coaching and guidance around the subjects of work-life balance, personal and professional development, communication styles, and conflict resolution, among others, go a long way in making the employee feel really at home in the organisation. Google’s “CareerGuru” program matches Google executives with Google employees to provide confidential, one-on-one career coaching and guidance around the subjects of work-life balance, personal and professional development, communication styles, and conflict resolution, among others.
3) Collaboration within the team
Office corridors are designed and set up for impromptu information sharing. The main question is, how do you group people together and still make an environment that helps them to concentrate on work without turning it into a labyrinth of cubicles? Employers can do that by properly designing the seating arrangements; the physical space should reinforce the culture in your company, not dictate it by default. Employers should find interesting ways to bring teams together. A team that plays together, stays together. This can mean a half an hour conversation during coffee daily or an outing to relax after a few weeks of hard work.
4) Include innovative initiatives
Organisational visions and goals need to trickle down to the lower strata. Employers’ focus in this area can be increased and new initiatives can be launched at the organisation level, as they should want every employee to be a part of its future. The purpose is to create awareness among others – this is determined by how friendly they are and give a sense of belonging to the company. The HR team should regularly interact with the employees to get inputs and have a healthy dialogue on the progress of the organisation as a whole and their career path in particular.
5) Celebrate achievements and people
Birthdays, rewards and recognition, welcoming the newcomers; there are plenty of important moments through which people can be encouraged in front of the company. They make the company and it’s a great and relaxing way of showing them that they matter.
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that employees have towards the organisation and its goals which is driven by prudent efforts and activities by the employer. UpGrad is committed to creating an open work culture for employees. Visit the career section of UpGrad or send your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org.