By Kothandaraman PR - General Manager – Human Performance, HTC Global Services
‘Employee engagement’ is one of the most frequently used terms we hear in organizations and HR circuits. However, as common the term maybe, it is not always understood, applied or demonstrated in its truest spirit and this is where most falter.
Creating a work environment where employees feel involved is not achieved merely by the application of the latest tools, techniques or conducting a few activities. It is the organizational philosophy that requires a matching mindset from its leadership. When the leadership of an organization displays a strong conviction and commitment towards driving ‘employee engagement’, it starts to become the DNA of the organization which in time is reflected in the sense “involvement” “responsibility” and “accountability” displayed by its people who take initiatives and display a sense of belonging towards the organization.
An organization that believes in “employee engagement” will bridge any gap between itself and its people - not at a tactical level, but as part of the organization culture, applying the tenets of their philosophy to include and involve employees in several effective ways.
# Make a real investment in your people
With a little more investment and by going beyond the regular business mandate of L&D, an organization can become more people-centric with customized programs, addressing employee development in a more holistic manner. For example, self-development programs that equip them with effective tools for personal growth can win their trust in the organization and create a more effective team at work.
# Give them an opportunity to inspire and motivate others
Identifying high performers and enabling them in honing their skills builds an organization’s capabilities and ensures they are prepared and inspired to take on more responsibility. In addition, giving them the opportunity to mentor others creates a congenial and positive work environment of involved teams and engaged managers.
# Help them build inter-personal relationships
It is highly recommended to create opportunities for team bonding. Creating platforms for knowledge sharing has proven to better the relationships between young talents and their managers. In addition, mentoring programs by leadership reflect the organization’s commitment towards its people and make the employee feel more invested. Such efforts create a sense of camaraderie and human bonding that builds a favourable backdrop for all other employee engagement activities.
# Not only empower them but also allow them to be the harbinger of change
Apart from recognizing and rewarding their efforts, an organization can demonstrate confidence and trust by empowering its people with the freedom to initiate change by inviting their suggestions and ideas. Most organizations take employee feedback but only some act upon it. This undermines the employee relationship with the organization. Requesting feedback with the commitment to be open to change can instinctively create a sense of employee involvement with the organization.
# Have an honest and transparent relationship with your people
Lastly, one cannot stress enough on the importance of communication in an organization and employee relationship. When an organization includes its employees by sharing information – from company vision, organization performance, to timely communication of important updates, decisions, and strategies – it reflects a transparency on the part of the organization. On the flipside, withholding information creates a sense of apathy amongst employees, which is not good for the health of any organization, building a barrier to any sense of involvement and belonging from the employee.
In sum, employees who believe that the organization is concerned about them as a whole and feel valued, are more productive, more satisfied and more fulfilled - motivating them to be engaged and involved at their workplace and with the organization. This can only be achieved with a top-down approach, and while levels of engagement may vary from employee to employee, an organization must stick by its philosophy with conviction, to truly become a great place to work.