Employee engagement is nothing but the logical and emotional connectedness of employees with their organizations, where employees are willing to put discretionary effort to achieve organizational goals. ‘Employee enablement’ means empowering employees by putting them in the right role and by providing them with the right environment sans any significant barriers to perform. When employees feel enabled, they feel more engaged and motivated than their counterparts and also create better service experiences. Without employee enablement, even the most engaged employees might be frustrated and held back, and eventually disengage. However, to feel enabled and empowered, employees carry some fundamental expectations from their organizations - let’s delve into some of these and see how organizations can deliver enablement to unlock engagement:
1) Make information easily available: Any information related to work, systems, policies, and processes must be easily accessible to the employee. Having robust networks, SharePoint, intranet, and timely communication channels like messenger and chatbots make for robust accessibility.
2) Design intuitive systems: Employees want systems, processes, techniques, and skills to become simplified so much that it becomes intuitive- for instance, multiple generations have learned to use Facebook and Google almost effortlessly. This is because these portals have been architectured simplistically even for the novice to operate.
3) Don’t make employees wait: In the era of self-service, no one wants the long-drawn process to feel enabled. Employees want to be self-reliant. Therefore, whatever enablement mechanisms organizations design, it should be simple and easy to use. Whether these are leave approvals or rewarding employees – use smart technologies to keep up with employee’s expectation.
Employee enablement means empowering employees by providing them with the right environment sans any significant barriers to perform
4) Offer flexible working -anytime, anywhere: Employees do not want to look at a particular place or time as work constraints. They want the flexibility and ease of operating from anywhere, anytime and technology has made it possible. The need is to be aware of such needs and leverage technology to grant flexible working opportunities to employees. Enabling flexible working opportunities should be supplemented by ‘complete functionality’, which means that all the functionalities must be complete and all resources made available to employees operating from remote areas.
5) Prioritize employee well-being: Research suggests that organizations which focus on employee well-being boast of increased productivity and decrease in sick leaves. Many organizations are promoting the use of wearable health devices to enable their employees to stay healthy. These devices not only grant the physical safety of the employees but provide intelligent analytics for the future.
6) Focus on employees’ mood: Research suggests that bad mood often affects one’s performance adversely. By 2020, 35% of the organizations will augment their annual use of pulse surveys and indirect and inferred feedbacks to get a comprehensive view of employee experience. With the advent of robotics, AI and IOT the day is not far when employers will be able to gauge the mood of the employees more accurately to be able to plug the gaps if any.
Engagement today is more than ‘what experience managers create’ - rather it is a much more holistic construct which is made up of a myriad of other critical factors. The need is to be cognizant of these factors and work towards to ensure better and deeper engagement levels to make employees healthier and happier.
(Insights in this article is curated by Dr. Arunima Shrivasta based on a webinar)