Employee Engagement – A Silver Bullet
This is a complimentary article by PeopleStreme, an international Human Capital Management software company, which specialises in the development of HR and enablement technology to support HRIS solutions and management for businesses.
Employee Engagement is much discussed by HR Executives and Organisational Development professionals alike. The question we are most asked is “How do we improve engagement?”, followed closely by “Do we use a performance development system, leadership training, incentives, work-life balance or something else ?” This White Paper outlines a systematic way to increase engagement across the entire workforce and then maintain high engagement.
Before outlining the elements of an effective engagement program, it is important to define exactly what Employee Engagement means. Following is an extract from Wikipedia:
“Employee engagement is a concept that is generally viewed as managing discretionary effort, that is, when employees have choices, they will act in a way that furthers their organisation’s interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work.”
The term “discretionary effort” is the most relevant. In many engagement studies, the clear outcome is that an organisation that can harness discretionary effort will far outperform the organisations with employees who just do the minimum they can get away with.
Wikipedia goes on to list the major influences and linkages of Employee Engagement:
Employee perceptions of job importance.
According to a 2006 study by Gerard Seijts and Dan Crim, “…an employee’s attitude toward the job[‘s importance] and the company had the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service than all other employee factors combined.”
Employee clarity of job expectations.
“If expectations are not clear and basic materials and equipment not provided, negative emotions such as boredom or resentment may result, and the employee may then become focused on surviving more than thinking about how he can help the organisation succeed.”
Career advancement/improvement opportunities.
“Plant supervisors and managers indicated that many plant improvements were being made outside the suggestion system, where employees initiated changes in order to reap the bonuses generated by the subsequent cost savings.”
Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors.
“Feedback is the key to giving employees a sense of where they’re going, but many organisations are remarkably bad at giving it.” “‘What I really wanted to hear was ‘Thanks. You did a good job.’ But all my boss did was hand me a check.”