Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist's yacobchuk
Businesses today are evolving, growing and emerging in new ways and new ideologies. Many concepts have been rejected in favor of fresh ideas that can help take the entire corporation to a new level, where everybody from a lowly clerk to the Manager are equally benefitted and equally involved. As the times progress, so do we need to upgrade ourselves accordingly, and change our approach to life and people so that we may as well grow and prosper with the changing times.
There exists a strict order of hierarchy in the companies, and still exists in many places, where the “boss” is an unapproachable entity, and if you are a junior worker in a company, you would never have any access to his presence. There would be distance between the co-workers, and a chain of command that has to be followed. But such a system leaves no room for actual comradeship, for any real interaction between people on their personal levels, as why would a junior assistant go up to a manager to share any thoughts on any given project when he is not required to think outside his given work. And that is why any worker would never try to bring any innovation in his company, because he is getting a paycheck to do exactly what he is being told to do. That may amount to ‘Employee satisfaction’ but it comes nowhere near ‘employee engagement’. In such cases people are only working for their own benefits and have no thoughts to spare for the growth of the company.
There have been many employee surveys conducted to gauge the level of satisfaction that employees feel while working for their companies. And for many, satisfaction amounts to collecting their promised paychecks at the end of the month while exerting as little as possible amount of hard work on their designated jobs. People come and go without making their mark, or breaking their routines, never stepping out or stepping up for anything extraordinary, primarily because the office environment doesn’t desire it, and also because not many people are as well adjusted in their chosen fields as they might think.
It has become apparent through some recently done survey reports from ADP and Custom Insights that majority of the workers do not address issues such as appreciation or awards as a regular perk, they do not expect to be evaluated and selected for special projects, and if they have a tough environment, they will switch their jobs instead of making things better around them. For this purpose it has become necessary that companies now pay attention to an overall environment that is provided to the workers, that it be healthy and encouraging for the employees so that they are able to perform better even if they have menial tasks.
Having disengaged employees is a big drawback for any company, and it results in monetary losses as well, as according to the Gallup Employee Engagement Survey of 2010, lost productivity because of actively disengaged employees resulted in $370 billion annually.
“Employee engagement must be top down led and be genuinely seen as an essential element in business success. For employee engagement to work there has to be good, two-way communication of business plans and direction and a listening to ideas, advice and recommendations.”
“In the sphere that I work in, placing offshore staff with clients, it becomes even more important. Those business owners or managers who do this well with their internal staff are much better placed than those who do not because they understand the process and the benefits. But in saying that, it does not mean that one cannot build the environment that helps people be engaged, leading to developing good working relationships that can last for the long term.”
“Engagement comes with wanting to do something for your management. If management rarely acknowledges your work you are not given much motivation to make your work outstanding (besides the paycheck). However, when working for management that encourages you and acknowledges your work you are far more likely to want to do more for them. Acknowledge great work and you will get more great work. If an employee is feeling appreciated they will not be bored.”
“There is a significant difference in the level of productivity between engaged and disengaged employees. When management just uses instructions as communication with no acknowledgement of efforts, they get nothing more than compliance from employees (if that!). It is a given that for building a sustainable, profitable business one needs employees who would put in their discretionary efforts. And, that happens only with engaged employees.”
” I learned something profound watching the boss and a janitor trying to win the egg toss. At the end of the day we are all people, it’s good to set aside titles and ego’s every now and again and just realte as people. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways.”
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Everybody from the manager to the clerk should be brought together in some capacity or another so that they might get to know everybody around them, get comfortable, feel a kind of relationship with their companies, and their environment and the people around them should be made such that every employee feels connected to the company. Only then will they be inspired to do something that benefits the entire organization.
It is imperative that in a company’s atmosphere, every employee is made to feel welcome to share their ideas, that the employees are made smarter, happier, and productive. Even if a junior member of the staff comes up with something new, the managerial department should always hear them out and give it serious consideration to be implemented in any form, if it is beneficial. Even small initiatives should be welcomed and appreciated in front of everyone so that others may also strive to do the same. When the employees feel that they are being valued, they will automatically start to value their company. Let not the paycheck be the only reason for your workers to stay, it’s important to step out and welcome their thoughts, their comforts, their ideas and address their issues and their day to day problems. When the company makes its employees feel like they are a part of the system, the employees will also start owning up to the company. The heads of the company need to work hard to make the employees feel the security of their jobs, and add the feeling of a valued addition in the staff rather than just another worker.
It comes as no surprise that many workers in huge corporation feel like their everyday issues are never going to be solved and they are just going to have to deal with whatever comes their way. This aspect creates dissatisfaction with the company and such employees are never willing to do any extra work or create any good reputation while discussing it with their friends.
The best way to find out exactly what are the general issues faced by the employees are surveys. Management should conduct surveys ever 3 to 6 months, asking the employees to state their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with whatever the issues are. Most importantly, the questions that help developing a bond with the employees and can help lead up to employee engagement are about the behavior and environment of the fellow workers and seniors. And the results in these surveys should be seriously considered, and should be given immediate response. For instance, if the survey result shows the employees unhappiness with their immediate boss, the matter should be handled effectively, or if the working conditions are deteriorating for any reason, the management should make it their priority to make it better as soon as possible. When the employees feel heard, they feel connected with the company and it will help in building a level of trust and goodwill towards the organization.
When a company really starts to look after its employees, the employees also start to look after the betterment of the company. The employees feel like they are a valued part of the staff, then and only then will they be willing to step out of their designated tasks and take on new projects, or put in an extra mile for the company. It is necessary to get employees engaged because when an employee feels connected, when his heart is engaged in his job, he will always try to do more, bring innovation in his work, strive to make his company better, because deep down at his core, he will be truly satisfied. And when the employee gets passionate about his job, he will work very hard to deliver his 100%, and will always aim to take his company to the next level. An engaged employee will bring fresh ideas to the table and get the regular tasks done in no time. Having employee engagement programs inside the offices will boost the morale and confidence of the workers, make them feel appreciated, consequently delivering great results in business returns.
It’s not just a healthy practice for employees on a personal level; it also serves in monetary returns as happy employees help in upgrading the overall business. Employee engagement brings about motivation, involvement and most importantly, emotional commitment of the people who are working together everyday. Not only do these employees serve self interest, as in their own promotions and perks, but they also feel emotional commitment with other workers, helping others with heavy workloads, taking on extra tasks, volunteering for new projects. The company doesn’t have to worry about finding new staff every year for even if the pay is a bit low, an engaged employee will stay on, for having a good environment and fair people to work with is more often than not an equalizer to a little less pay and a lot of mental peace and the feeling of being appreciated and valued.
When the employees will be happily committed and content at their personal level, they will help the company in achieving its goals, and then take it further to new skies of success, rising above and beyond the call of duty.