A workplace in today’s global organization spans across continents and countries employing people in large numbers. The same workplace is growing at an accelerated pace. The last two decades have witnessed a large number of mergers and acquisitions creating global workplace involving employees from different cultures and background. Hence, it becomes an increasingly difficult task for an HR team to connect with all the employees spread across the operational region of the company. This leads to mismanagement and as such employees fully fail to engage themselves in their respective job.
A Relationship Between Engagement – Productivity – Profitability
Employee engagement in business terms is connected with improved productivity and increased profitability. This connection is true across any organization, department, and team. A well-engaged employee performs better in his job which leads to better productivity. This higher productivity then leads to better profitability for the organization. Productivity and Profitability are not the only factors which improve with better engagement but there is a notable improvement in other factors such as – Lower Absenteeism, Better Customer Satisfaction, Lower turnover, Improved Quality / Lower Defects and other such factors.
The Journey of an Engaged Employee
The journey of an engaged employee usually moves from being valued to being deeply involved which ultimately leads to deep enthusiasm.
Image Source: HRvoice.org
The problem with organizations today is that they are all looking for short-term solutions to employee engagement. It is in fact a slow process keeping a long-term goal in mind. You cannot create an engaged employee overnight. Employees need to be nurtured and fostered by creating a good working environment.
Three Cs of Employee Engagement:
Communication is the topmost priority for leading employees to be better engaged in their work environment. The ability of an employee to be able to communicate and send their views/opinions upwards to the top management is an important driver of engagement. Similarly, the downward communication from top management and lateral communication from cross-functional teams and departments plays a major role in developing a healthy work atmosphere. The ability to be able to keep employees and departments informed about what is happening across the organization, internally as well as externally with their customers and vendors develops a sense of ownership among the employees.
Working on developing a healthy communicative atmosphere becomes painstakingly difficult when the organization is spread across a large geographical area. To counter this company is making use of digital communication platforms or internal communication portals to discover, share and educate employees about material pertaining to the organization. Earlier, to communicate mass internal emails from HR were sent across to all employees. This is useful in terms of having a one-way official mode of a communication channel to send out changes in company policies or notifying about statutory changes. However, the experience is not very immersive in case of appreciating employees, informing about training programs, having polls, sharing news, etc. Companies are going ahead and using an internal portal to post such information where employees can comment, like or share pictures depending upon the topics.
Such mass communication platform reduces the size of disengaged employees who are sceptical about organizational efforts and also decreases the contagious negativity which spreads from a disengaged employee to an engaged one.
The opportunity for growth in an organization not only financially but also personally and professionally plays an important factor in improving engagement. After a year into his job an employee usually starts wanting to develop himself professionally either by learning new skills or by taking on new responsibilities. Here the company should focus on helping the employee develop relevant skills thus improving their competence. If the company invests itself in developing the career of an employee the employee invariably helps the organization grow. There is an old saying, “As the employees grow, the organization grows.” When we talk about growth it does not just mean growth in numbers but it encompasses much more than that. The growth can be in terms of Skills, Authority, Responsibility, and Experience.
- Caring Managers
One of the key elements that drive a high engagement among employees is a “Caring Manager”. A manager should take the effort of knowing their employees beyond just meeting deadlines. The Manager should work in developing a work-life balance among his team and support an employee’s well being and health. The manager needs to work on developing and nurturing them as a team with team building exercises, team interactions, and team motivation exercises. A Manager who invests his time and energy on developing his team creates an engaging atmosphere where employees perform at their highest level.
“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: Employee Engagement, Customer Satisfaction, and Cash Flow.” – Jack Welch