Employee Engagement – Why we need it?

People often ask me why I organize internal events, competitions/promote intranet/ do CSR activities or invite various consumer-durable organizations to put their stalls at the office premises. Many of them comment that these are wastage of time and money….instead of these, ‘give money and take work’.

So, we can’t satisfy or keep everybody happy. Just, we can ask three questions to ourselves –

“How much self-esteemed do I feel by being associated with my company?”

“Don’t I feel proud when an outsider recognizes me by my organization or say good things about my organization?”

“Isn’t it a feel-good factor while my organization wins a national or international award?”

Employee engagement is an advanced step to employee satisfaction. It involves commitment, loyalty, faith and pride in the organization, a willingness to advocate for the organization, and a sense of personal responsibility. It is about creating gusto in the employees for their roles, their work and the organization, and ensuring they are aligned with the values of the organization, well informed and well integrated with their colleagues and culture of the organization.

To create greater motivation within employees for the work they do and increase their commitment towards the organization, corporates are now a day’s paying extra attention to this practice. Companies are now introducing inspiring and flexible work culture, employee friendly policies and practices and a variety of employee benefit schemes.

Few diagnostic tools for employee engagement includes: facility to work from home, flexible time, cab facility, crèche facility, training, career and personality development, performance appraisals, performance management, communication, equal opportunity, fair treatment, pay –benefits, health and safety, cooperation and family orientation, friendliness, open door policy, job satisfaction etc. These help the organization to create strong emotional bonding with the employees.

Few valuable company engagement programs include:

Many companies have introduced many exciting and refreshing practices to liven up their workplace, creating an environment conducive for explosive ideation and experience sharing, where the management could connect with the employees both formally and informally. These policies encourage two way interactions and helps achieve the objectives like fill in the Management communication gap, provide a formal platform for employees where they could express their ideas, suggestions, which are for larger interest of the organization and requires organization attention and action, address personal grievances and counseling etc.

Listening to employee ideas, acting on employee contributions and actively involving employees in decision making are essential to employee engagement. What they want from their managers: Focus me, Know me, Care about me, Hear me, Help me, feel proud, Help me review my contributions, Equip me, Help me see my value, Help me grow, Help me see my importance, Help me build mutual trust, Challenge me.

Many organizations have social networking and micro-blogging services on intranet that enable employees to send, discuss and read messages, internal portal for podcasting, social networking within the organization by using blogs, forums etc. People can raise various issues, offer feedback and also communicate with the senior management through this portal.

A Few Activities to be done towards employee engagement:

Treating employees as a member of the company by giving a day off on their birthdays and anniversaries, provide play and meditation courts for the employees or organizing self-management workshop – like Yoga, Art of Living to combat the work stress, employees’ kids participating in painting competition, festival celebration etc. can make work life balance. Besides, some other activities can be organizing training sessions, promote and recognize team performance, system adherence, evolve an employee friendly and business focused policies, processes and systems with high degree of automation, giving a chance to showcase their extra-curricular activities on the occasions like annual day celebration etc.

Regularly organizing various internal events on various occasions like Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, World Health Day, Children’s Day, Independence Day, Republic Day etc., organize various inter-company competitions among employees Quizzes, Sports Tournaments, Music and Dance Competitions, Cubicle decorations etc. can create a culture of fun and spark at work. External initiatives like off-site meetings, team parties, and team-bonding games to promote camaraderie among employees and also encouraging to participate in various corporate events can make working much more fun too.

A weekly or monthly column should be written by CEO on the intranet with company announcements, programs etc.

Companies need to organize Communication Meeting, every quarter where employees can directly interact with the senior management, periodically can share the future plans of the organization, define goals and expectations.

Employees should be rewarded and recognised for the good performance with awards like employee of the month or annual awards, competitive compensation etc.

Internal Newsletters, Magazines, Notice boards and regular mailers play vital role in employee engagement.

So, we can say – employee engagement is directly proportionate to organizational growth or organization’s success.

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