Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on January 08, 2014
Employee engagement was often considered just another jargon in the field of HR and the task of engaging workforce a mere formality. But today, it is being used as a strategic tool used by many business leaders to ensure that their employees are committed to the goals and values of their organization and hence contributing to the organizational success. According to David Macleoid, “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential.” As this concept of employee engagement is gaining popularity in the business world, employers are now ready to go extra mile for engaging their employees. The business leaders are realizing that nothing can be more damaging to their organization than disgruntled or disengaged employees- and hence there is more stress on employment engagement.
If one thinks about it, for the last 30 years or so employee research has been a critical component of organizational strategy. Our journey to the concept of employee engagement took very long time. Three decades ago, we started our journey from employee satisfaction and we travelled a long distance to move from employee satisfaction to employee commitment, then over the last decade to employee engagement. There has been a significant recent research that states engagement plays a key role in longevity of the organization successfully. A recent study of 41 MNCs reveals that
• High engagement employers: 2-4% improvement in operating and net profit margin
• Low engagement employers: A decline of 2% in operating and net margin.
Thus from above data it is quite clear that engagement reflects performance and performance reflects growth of the organization. With this logic, engagement can be considered related to all those elements which allow an employee to perform to its potential enabling the organisation to grow. So let us see how HR systems can be instrumental in employee engagement.
• Clarity on role: It is the responsibility of the organization to see if each employee is having the clear idea on "what they have to do" and "what is their role". Sometimes ambiguity in role leads to “employee’s lack of focus”. As a result, he would not be able to perform well. If he would not be clear on his roles, there may be conflict among his peers and subordinates in his department. As a result of which, he may feel demotivated and disengaged.
• Every individual is unique: Every employee is one of his own type. He has a unique style of working, different skill sets and the most important thing is that every employee has different mind set and thus a different approach to the same job. Thus if the employers understand their employees well, they can assign the right job to the right person and thus let employees stay engaged engaged in the work that aligns with their strength. This will maximize the contribution of their employees.
• Value the employees: Compensation, appraisal are the instruments that measure the performance and potential of the employees. But nowadays these instruments also seem to be meaningless to the employees. They don’t feel motivated. Actually, every employee wants to be valued and recognized in his job place. It is very important for the employers recognize the performance of their employees. Make them feel special through awards, publishing their achievement in journals of the organization, praising the contribution of employees through personal mails, etc.
• Build the mutual trust: Organizations must create mechanisms that will allow employees to know their co-workers. A proper interactive environment in the organisation is very necessary. An emotional connectivity is important to have among the peers and subordinates. This in turn helps to understand each other and develop a mutual trust and becomes highly beneficial in the long run.
• Coaching and training to the middle level and senior managers: It is said that ‘the individual joins the organization but leave their managers.’ So it is very important for the organisations to provide training and coaching to their middle level as well as senior managers so that they can understand their employees and there is little scope of any conflict with their subordinates or peers.
• Transparent: A comprehensive communication plan that conveys a consistent and clear message is very essential. One great way to engage employees is to give them regular feedback on their performance. Let the employees know about the policies and vision of the organisation. This is an effective tool to significantly influence engagement and disengagement in the workplace. By letting the employees know about their performance, the policy changes and certain things, which they should know, will reflect the transparency of the organisation. This factor also contributes as a motivation to their employees.
All the above-mentioned points are common sense - Isn't it? Is employee engagement a new concept or the same old wine in new bottles? It’s a high time for all the business leaders to have a serious thought on ' how to engage their employees' because more the employees are engaged more is the productivity and growth of the organisation.
This article has been authored by Abdul Khaleed And Mohit Madan from XIMB