Article by , Lead HR Consultant @ Gulf Training and Consultation Center
With technology continuously changing our working habits and lives, now more than ever you need Human Capital (HC) which is at the mastery level on the technical competencies.
This modern-day HC can no longer be managed with traditional methods, but requires fresh leadership style, empowerment, and is hungry for a variety of perks. As you are getting more reliant on your people’s engagement level, your focus must shift toward this area.
Employee Engagement (henceforth EE) is quite complex and comprehensive concept that is yet to receive attention; and we want to help by unraveling its basic constituents:
To reap the benefits of this concept, it is foremost critical to determine key FACTORS and DRIVERS that lead to higher level of engagement, and accordingly build models that draw positive implications for your organizational performance.
Establishing EE framework drivers and factors is a tedious assignment. To help you start, we have distinguished 5 thought-provoking approaches:
The two most significant implications to extract from these approaches are:
According to research, high level of engagement in one’s organization can ensure positive business outcome, such as:
Organizations should be wary of disengaged HC.
Many employees can be disengaged by not being supported by new initiatives or having difficulties with internal communication. If your team employees are disengaged, they might waste their talent on activities and projects that don’t necessarily add value; be there just to fill in the working hours; show lack of commitment; resist change and any internal activity, such as performance measurement or customer care.
A survey conducted by ISR on 36,000 employees from 41 organizations, from 10 economically strong countries over a period of 3 years, found an increase in both operating and net profit margins in organizations with high levels of EE, and a decrease in organizations with a low level of EE.
To conclude this argument, we are happy to share initial recommendations with everyone who wishes to reach high level of EE:
In addition to onboarding and talent acquisition programs, you should define clear and well-developed talent retention strategies. Your internal pool of talent should be capitalized on since Day 1 and one way of doing it is by running amazing onboarding presentations, both general and job-specific, which would help new talent get realistic expectations about your organization, their role, as well as minimize future conflicts.
To maintain your existing talent engaged, you should focus on your CORE people i.e. those with the highest level of engagement.
A study on HC practices in 50 US organizations (conducted by Watson Wyatt Worldwide in 2004) showed that better performing organizations are more focused on top-performing employees and have a lower turnover of great talents.
Every leader in your organization should be dedicated to your Strategy, Mission, Vision, Values; cascade them down the organization and lead by example.
EE should not be something put in complex 100-page process manuals or something that only the HC unit cares for – it should be a shared trait and practice for every employee in your organization, at every time.
Allow your employees to unleash their potential, be autonomous in organizing their time and responsibilities, so long as deadlines are respected, and results are provided. Instead of micromanaging, focus on results and setting appropriate KPIs.
EE can be enhanced by collaborative and two-way communication. In daily work, for instance, it means that instead of telling employees what should be done, asserting your opinion, or how it should be done, you should let employees share opinions, have a say on issues related to their role and life.
The road to engaged talent starts by having clear and consistent communication and respect for their opinions.
Likewise, decision making should not be exclusive for your managerial suite, but shared with team members, as to establish a sense of community and increase commitment and engagement.
Ergonomics has become a well-established science and you can no longer ignore the importance of the working environment.
Starting from essentials, such as safety and clean working space, you should ensure your employees’ energy is focused only on performing their job responsibilities, instead of putting the spotlight on physical discomfort, pain, lack of air or sunlight in the facility, etc.
Finally, you must ensure everyone is provided with all the necessary information to perform their job properly.
Help your HC boost their competitiveness by providing unmatched, unique professional development opportunities. Formal education and working experience are no longer enough to remain competitive. Once your employees are more knowledgeable about their jobs, they would: feel a lot more confident, need less supervision, increase their effectiveness and ultimately become more engaged and committed to your organization.
The level of engagement should be measured through continual PMS.
Start by conducting a general EE survey, and determine critical factors that drive engagement. Then, apply the pareto principle and focus on the few factors that would make the highest impact and focus your efforts around these areas. It is not possible to address all aspects at the beginning. As your organization develops more mature and lucrative HC practices, you would be able to measure, monitor and control more factors and drivers.
Your compensation package is one of the most critical factors that drives engagement. It should include both financial and non-financial benefits.
To further boost engagement, find KPIs that measure engagement and award employees with the highest level of engagement.
Provide a clear link between engagement and incentives which are given to the employees.
Your corporate culture highly affects your employees’ lives and behavior.
Starting from the top, a strong work culture should be promoted and cascaded down the organization, where organization strategic objectives, values and mission are unified across all work sections.
Build a corporate culture around success, mutual respect, and engagement, which will affect both existing and new employees.