When we talk of employee engagement we talk about all kinds of engagement tools like- flexible working conditions, wellness programs, involvement in CSR activities, awards, recognition, mentoring and providing various other opportunities for career advancement within an organization. But we forget to think about the basics that may be instrumental in establishing that relationship between the employee and the organization called- Employee Engagement.
How to keep employees engaged? As an HR professional we all tend to dive into this question many a times, whether we are trying to retain an employee or tackle a situation in hand or studying the results of e-sat surveys. Most of us think of cracking this nut either at the time when an employee resigns (time when s/he has already made up the mind to leave)or in the statistics of surveys that were held earlier. So where does it begin? Does engagement start when someone raises an alarm by resigning or does it start when the survey statistics show a typical trend? I believe it starts the day an employee joins an organization. For that matter, may be even prior to that! It's how s/he was treated during the entire process of job interview...simple gestures of acknowledging his/her presence and thought process, making them comfortable when they speak and conduct themselves. All these factors, although small,go a long way in establishing that connect and liking for the organization. Right from the day s/he is inducted in the system(organization), their initial interaction with the people around, with co-workers,their comprehension of the job description and polices etc. help develop a certain degree of enthusiasm in them. This level of enthusiasm makes or mars the relationship between the employee and the organization in the later years.
A Two-way process
I feel that to maintain the engagement factor it's important that s/he understand their JD and the role as well as the important company policies.When I say this, I mean that the employee engagement could also be called a two way process culminating into a relationship between the employee and the organization. If it is for the organization to create conditions and tools for Engagement, it is also equally for the employee to look for opportunities(those conditions and tools) within the organization which may empower them and in return empower the organization. So when TCS considers it important to strengthen the bond between 'TCS employees' and families through 'Maitree' or Mercer plans on reimbursing the cost involved in the 'Industrial certification' that it's employee does, it becomes imperative on the part of employee to reciprocate by using these tools and in return contribute to the organizational goals & growth.
Coming back to gestures: Everytime I think of engaging the workforce, I feel that the use of simple gestures shown by the HR team become the key to that connect factor with the employees. It could be a small gesture of trying to address employees with their names and a smile, listening to their problems, guiding them whenever needed or lending that HR ear.Ensuring that the issue with which they walked up to you is resolved and communicated. It is this connect factor that binds the employees with the organization.This bond further fuels the degree of enthusiasm in the employees resulting into a positive reciprocal relationship between the two. It's basically about understanding and taking the employee as Human Capital and not just as Human Resource.
Once the workforce becomes an asset for the organization then all the monetary and non-monetary engagement tools become effective. Then there is no limit for the organization in experimenting with these above said tools so as to make the relationship a positive one.
|Image courtesy-Google Images|