There should be no argument among business people that it is employees who take the business forward, executing the planned business strategies. A disengaged employee is a cost to the organisation, while an engaged employee is an asset to the organisation. It is known that a significant portion of the organisation’s profit is allocated for employee wages, well-being and training because each and every business organisation expects its employees to do their best for the company and contribute towards achieving the business strategies.
What matters is how far the employees are engaged in business activities. In other words, employee engagement is the secret behind business profit or loss. Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that the employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being.
An engaged employee is a person who is emotionally attached with the company and always willing to do their best for the organisation’s success. Employees are actively engaged in their jobs only if high engagement results in higher career growth. Furthermore, the business culture must be a culture that highly values committed employees and provides them with expected returns. Because the disengaged employees undoubtedly pave the way for loss-making business, it is up to the CEOs and senior managers to set a human resource strategy, so that all the employees are actively engaged in their jobs, leading to profitability.
The 10 Cs are very important in planning to improve employee engagement. Hence, let’s have a closer look at them.
It means that there ought to be a close relationship between the senior managers and employees. There is nothing other than close relationship that motivates employees in the organisation. Employee-focused initiatives such as profit-sharing and implementing work-life balance initiatives help to build this relationship more strongly. If the senior managers want to make profits, they have to consider the employees as partners of that profit-making process. The duty of an employee may be over after an eight-hour service but the duty of a partner may not be over after an eight-hour service. It means that the employees, once they are considered partners and fully connected with the senior managers, definitely become engaged employees.
Employees come and work hard in the organisation because they expect career growth. If the organisation provides them with a job, not a career full of challenging and meaningful tasks, it will undoubtedly result in disengagement. Employees ought to be empowered with skills, so that challenges can be met. They are compelled to use their maximum potential, once being provided with new challenges.
Workers should have a clear understanding about strategies and plans that the senior managers have for the business organisation. Once people know where the organisation is propelled, it is easy for them to actively contribute to achieve the goals. Furthermore, every employee has a part of the organisation’s big picture to draw. As a business is a collective effort, what even a minor worker is doing, is not cleaning or delivering massages but making business profitable. Every small part should be combined into the main goal. People can work only if everyone has clarity on the organisational goals.
It is up to the senior managers to clarify their expectations about employees and provide them with constructive criticism. Good leaders establish processes and procedures that help people master important tasks and facilitate goal achievement. If the leaders use a bad way to convey, the employees too may respond badly. Consequently, they can become disillusioned, resulting in employee disengagement.
Everybody wants to be appreciated. However, what can be seen in the business environment is that the seniors call and blame the employees for their poor performance. But, the praise for strong performance is less common. This should not come about; the leaders must not hesitate to take time to congratulate the employees on their strong performance at every possible time.
The leaders should let the employees understand how they contribute to business success. If they feel that they are really partners of the success, they tend to work hard. The employee’s attitude to the job and the organisation has an impact on the loyalty and customer service.
The leaders have to set control over the employees and should consult with them in making decisions as well as in setting controls. Managers should not see people as groups or units; they should see people as individuals because every individual has different needs and grievances. That is why it is important for the managers to get the employees involved in the decision-making process, especially, once the employee-related decisions are taken.
Business is a collective and collaborative effort to win the market and make profit. Hence, the leaders have to be team builders. When the employees work in teams, they nurture and motivate each other, resulting in higher engagement. One of the challenges that lies before the seniors is how to prevent free riders in the team.
The leaders should try to maintain organisational reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards, especially in decision-making, so that the employees can be proud of the organisation. The employees should have a belief that the managers propel the business properly.
Good leaders always set examples, so that the employees’ confidence on their seniors can be strengthened. When people have lost their confidence in the business, they question how and why they work with the organisation any more, resulting in high employee turnover.
Once the 10 Cs discussed above are mixed with proper business strategies, it is not difficult to increase employee engagement. Training can be useless, unless the employees are efficiently engaged in the job. Hence, it can be noted that employee engagement is a formula strengthening business success.
(Amila Muthukutti is a business executive qualified in economics, finance and HRM. He is employed by a leading company in Sri Lanka and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)