Engaged workforce is the core of every business and a distinguishing factor for achieving business success in today’s times. Engaged employees can not only lead to higher productivity and revenue but also customer satisfaction, enhanced brand recall which in turn leads to higher value creation for stakeholders. Hence, companies who have a robust engagement plan in place are better equipped than their competitors. In today’s competitive, employee engagement is becoming crucial in winning the talent war, as this is turning out to be a key differentiator in identifying good companies from great ones.
Workplace enthusiasm has been a focus area for many organizations and this has been extensively communicated in the recent past. The relationship between an employee and organization is one of the key relationships to thrive in today’s competitive world. Most often, Human Resources (HR) are believed to be the custodian of employee engagement. Indeed, HR takes initiative and drives constant employee engagement program in the form of continuous training and development, job rotations, skill upgradation, providing flexibility in terms of working hours or just having an Open door policy to propagate the culture of freedom both in terms of ideas and grievance handling.
“Employee engagement” is the emotional connect that the employee has towards their organization and its objectives. Engaged employees actually care about their work and results as they understand its bearings on the company’s growth. Employee satisfaction indicates how satisfied the employees are at their workplace, environment and with remuneration. The company organizes team lunches, birthday celebrations, and several other activities every month with the aim of creating a happy workforce. Some employees might be satisfied at work, but that doesn't essentially mean they are working hard or effectively engaged with the organization. Because making employees happy is different from making them engaged.
It is important to understand that the workplace environment can either contribute to or decrease employee strain. In a complex situation, where establishments are perennially pushed to control costs and improve productivity, employers need to recognize precise triggers that influence employee growth, engagement and, in turn, productivity. Employee engagement may differ from industry to industry, but they are essentially based on the same principles. To bring out the best results, an organization needs to allow ownership to employees to ensure best results. Ownership of the work builds a culture of accountability among employees towards work. The more accountable the workforce, the more fruitful it will be. Regardless of their title role and positions in the organization, all employees expect a positive atmosphere and working associations with their direct managers and the prospects to learn and grow.
In the ever evolving industry, employee engagement is no longer a prerogative of HR but also of organizational leadership. Rightly said by Professor Warren G. Bennis - Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right. Hence, an effective leader is a person who creates an inspiring vision of the future, encourages and enthuses people, trains and builds a team to achieve the organizational vision. Every leader has its own style of engaging with the employees to achieve the best results. It is must for a leader to have an unambiguous vision that all employees believe in. As per Workplace Research Foundation, highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.
Leaders motivate individuals through a common vision and create an environment where people feel appreciated and rewarded. Building the next generation of leaders is one of the key responsibility area of a leader. Developing talent pool is a vital aspect for successful undertakings in the future. Being a leader, one need not be authoritative but at the same time maintain an understanding demeanor towards its employees. The members should look up to a leader for learning and also share the challenges or concerns. Patience in listening to the issues and providing amicable resolution without causing much friction is an important factor for fostering a harmonious working relationship.
Future growth prospects, focused skill building, domain expertise and career advancement are among the top motorists of employee contentment. The organization should strive to provide ample opportunities that allow employees to learn and innovate on the job, undertake progressive projects, and at the same time provide assistance through support and knowledge when required. The organization should also encourage and support flexibility to new ideas and approach for greater participation from employees.
In order to motivate employees to give their best, their efforts need to be constantly recognized and rewarded. Instituting mechanism for appreciating them in their efforts provides plenty of encouragement for them to boost their performance further. To actively keep employees involved and inspire healthy competition, organizations should initiate competitive events and challenges that essentially lead to augmented harmony among them. Such activities help in fostering originality and motivate participants to think differently towards devising a problem-solving approach. A successful employer always understands the well-being of his employees and also make sure they are not exceedingly stressed. A reasonable amount of work pressure is healthy as it helps them to go the extra mile but excessive of it leads to poor moral development.
Once an employee feels engaged to an organization, it becomes a two way street wherein a company turns into an employer of choice close to an employee’s heart and the employee turn into a 360 degree brand ambassador showcasing traits like loyalty, productivity and ownership across dealings in their sphere of influence, irrespective of whether it is with internal or external stakeholders.