Jun 17, 2009

How to Achieve Employee Engagement

A lot of factors go into creating Employee Engagement. Primarily they can be either internal or external to the employee.

The internal factors are obviously difficult for an employer/manager to influence - but still there is something that as a Manager/HR professional you can do to influence it - help people reflect and find out more about themselves, either through tools like questionnaires/instruments or reflective conversations with Executive Coaches.

Once a person has that insight about himself, crafting (or sculpting a job ) would be the ideal way to go ahead, however life is not ideal.

Hence next steps are usually about identifying what is the role one should target towards and then developing one's skills and working towards it.

Most people hesitate in making a career shift after they have invested in a decade in a chosen function. They want to play safe. An organization can make this career transition easy by supporting capability development, even in times of economic recession.

As far as external factors are considered, an organizational culture that is uniform across groups, and seen to be fair is critical to building employee engagement.

People want to both have skills as well as employ them.

Helping people discover their flow - by increasing challenge as they build their skill is critical to people really being engaged at work.

It's not so much about free lunches , free laundry and games at work.

The other thing that organizations need to do is encourage organizational citizenship behaviors.

However the biggest thing organizations and managers have to realize that engagement is not a one way street. Expecting employee engagement also means being actively engaged with the employee also. It means understanding and keeping conversation with the employee open at all times.

It does not mean making a counter offer when a person puts in his resignation anytime - that is behavior which stems from the 'employee as mercenary' model - and engagement once broken - like trust - is unlikely to be set right anytime soon.