Improving employee engagement is a very important facet in any organization.
Employee engagement may be defined as “The extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs and committed to the organization,and put discretionary efforts into their work. Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction. Happy employees may not be the engaged employees.
A lot of research has been carried out in this field. However, before dwelling on the topic, let us see what is the opinion of the researchers on types of employees, as this must be considered before finalizing any strategy for employee engagement
HBR.org has devised a series of measures to engage employees effectively. However , they are of the opinion that the employees with the largest tenures in any organization are also the least likely to be engaged.
The above is because, many employees grow apathetic over time and spend each day, doing the minimum, to get by. Some employees continue to grow grudges for years. They even undermine the company, when they get the chance.
Thus, HBR .org is of the opinion, that business leaders should concentrate first to engage their long tenure employees, to improve the performance.
Categories of Employees:
Brent Glesson, the founder and CEO of Taking Point and a famous consultant, clearly divides the employee of any organization into three categories as:
- Engaged (15% of the workforce),
- Not engaged (67% of the workforce) and
- Actively Disengaged (18% of the workforce).
As per him, the engaged employees are loyal and emotionally committed to the organization and excell in their roles. Such engaged employees are the future leaders.
However, the second category of not engaged employees are difficult to be identified and seem to be happy in their roles. However, their loyalty to the organization with respect to vision is only partial. Such type of employees are a threat and opportunity both. Threat, as they may leave the organization any time; opportunity, because if groomed and encouraged properly, they may transform into “Engaged Employees”. The third category of employees “Actively Disengaged” are burden on organization. They are totally negative and create toxic environment.
The above analysis has been presented in view of the fact that employee types and their level of commitment must be studied before working out strategies to improve their engagement.
Below are suggested 9 tips to improve employee engagement in your organization.
1.Brain-storming with organization members
The first thing which must be done is getting views of the employees through employee surveys, brain storm to clearly spelling out the present status including the stalemate if any, with respect to finance, production,profitability, etc. Employees may be asked to contribute how to chalk out plans, strategies for improvements in unison with vision,mission and goals of the organization.
Alternatively,the leaders may present their own plan and brain storm it for creating awareness among employees.
The basic purpose of the brain storming exercise is to let each and every member know in depth, about the vision, mission, goals and targets of the organization.
Most of the researchers are of the opinion that members are not made aware of the above,leading to poor engagement.
2.Making a detailed plan for employee engagement
A detailed plan may be made based on employee engagement ideas derived from the brain-storming session with the employees. The detailed plan must be inclusive of the following.
- Time start and finish of each activity
- Resources required
- The key person and his team to do an activity
- Any other thing
3. Assign right role to each and every member
Assigning right role to each and every member is very important. In this case, it must be understood that leaders and managers must be identified in the organization.
Further, roles of leaders and line managers must be defined clearly.
It is the common observation that many times, the employees are told to do a job, which they do not know, how to do. Hence, providing training and coaching at personal level is as important as providing the same in teams.
5.Show empathy and listen to the problems during execution
This is the crucial phase, when the job is being performed. Showing empathy, listening to them and on-spot solving of the problems, are important steps in successful completion of the job.
6.Monitor and take regular feedback for the employee engagement activities
The author is of the opinion that believing the employees is a must.
However, at the same time, monitoring and having regular feedback is as essential as believing. The former one builds trust, while the latter one reinforces and strengthens the trust.
7.Focus on social aspects
Being in close touch with the employees with regards to their personal,financial,social problems is an important aspect. Some employee engagement activities, which may be done are
- Taking the employees on outbound programs, short breaks, or entertainment trips. This helps in breaking the boredom, associated with the repetitive jobs.
- Birthdays, marriage anniversaries, may be planned in advance.
- If any employee completes a year,it may be celebrated. This is important, as retention is really a major problem these days.
8.Develop an honest transparent award scheme based on result
A judicious, honest and transparent award scheme should be instituted. This motivates the employees who give results.
9.Emphasis on adequate emotional management at workplace
The author is of the opinion that conventional methods of employee engagement sometimes, are not able to yield results. This is because, modern times and fast changing work culture and personal choices leave little space for not much improvement to be affected by leaders.
However, one very vital aspect, which is often neglected is emotional aspects of the employees.It must be borne in mind that employees are not robots. They are living human beings, with emotions as part of their life. Building a strong emotional culture at workplace is very important.
For knowing more about how to improve emotional culture at workplace, please go through the following blogs published by us.
- 6 Tips To Improve The Emotional Culture At Workplace
- How HR Will Determine If Their Organisation Possesses A Strong Emotional Culture
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Graduate, Post Graduate and Doctorate from IIT, BHU Dr. D. Rai has more than 46 years of research & academic experience. His career spans across the industry and academia from playing the role of Head of Department at Research & Development Center for Iron and Steel to being the Director for reputed management colleges. He has published 65 research papers and filed 5 patents and 7 copyrights. He plays the role of an Advisor and Chief Mentor at Ripples Learning.