As the corporate world proceeds towards a Gig economy, employee engagement and the focus around it becomes imperative to drive business success. Personal experience about the impact of Employee Engagement on the organizations productivity, profitability, brand value and attrition prompted me to think about how we got here and what is this “Employee Engagement” and all the jazz around it.
As I gather my thoughts, I draw an analogy of a highly engaged team with a child’s mind, which is curious, with a limited attention span, and yet knows what they want and how they will get it. So, what’s all this jazz about, and how do we keep a team with different generations, backgrounds, and expectations engaged?
- MUTUAL TRUST: Remember that moment when a child climbs on a high surface and jumps in free fall, knowing you will catch them. It’s that simple! In a professional environment, trust is a function of credibility, past experiences, and personal relationships. Managers have a significant role when it comes to creating a high trust environment within their team and their peers. High performing individuals, when bestowed with trust, take ownership and drive results more effectively. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and tend to stay longer with their employers. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance. Start a relationship with trust and believe that the other side will give the same in return. Wait and see the magic that you create!
- MANAGING EXPECTATIONS: What do we do when children share their expectations and demands…we evaluate our means to fulfil, and then we either meet their requirements or explain why we can’t give them what they asked for? With organizations managing expectations and aspirations of multiple generations, constant & transparent communication, or Samvaad as we call it is the key to managing people’s expectations and aspirations. In today’s world, where information flows through multiple channels, the right communication, at the right time, and the right channel can be a make or break. An informed team member is more likely to understand the organization's imperatives and align his/her expectations with them. At the same time, the consequences of failing to manage employee expectations can be severely damaging. It can lead to higher attrition rate, tarnish the company’s ability to attract more talent and may even impact its business.
- SMALL IS THE NEW BIG: In a technology-savvy environment where digitization is the new buzz, there is no replacement for going back to basics like personal connect, handwritten notes, having a best friend, and caring about each other among many others. With a continuous effort to feed our logical brain, we sometimes end up placing everything in a framework calculating the ROI for the organization. As organizations see people leaders emerging from all generations, it’s the simple things that make a huge difference. We do remember how gadgets, video calls, and mobiles cannot replace the quality time that parents spend with their children. And yes, don’t underestimate the power of a smile!
- PERSONALIZING THE WORKPLACE: Employees today don't want to be just another number; they want to feel listened to, understood and cared for by their employer. Customized & personalized workplace with flexible work schedules, compensation structures, and a personal connect with the employee and his/her family go a long way in creating an inclusive workplace and building employee’s loyalty towards the organization. New Age parents will resonate well with the thought of customizing everything for their children and their friends. From theme parties to personalized return gifts the business of pleasing kids has grown multi fold in the last few years. Well, there’s a child inside all of us and employees are no different when they spend one third of their day in the office!
Experts say that there are many more elements, including structured growth paths, capability building platforms, recognition tools, and empowerment at work that drive an individual. These elements do lay the foundation on which the pyramid stands tall.
As the job market is a two-way street where the candidate has an equal choice compared to the employer, the string which ties everything together and makes an individual give their best is the alignment with the organization’s vision, purpose, and values. People who can see how the organization's goal aligns with their personal goals and aspirations are more likely to create a beautiful melody with all the jazz!