Original Source: The Employee Engagement Working Paper, by Prof. Nitin Vazirani, M.Com. in Finance, M.Com in Mgmt, M.H.R.D.M. PhD (Pursuing) of the SIES College of Management Studies
Employee Engagement has become a buzz word for employee communication. But it’s more than just a buzz word, it is a positive attitude held by the employees towards the organization and its values. We already know that engagement has become a priority for many organizations. Employee engagement is the level of commitment and involvement an employee has towards their organization and its values. An engaged employee is aware of business context, and works with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organization.
But what does it TRULY mean for an organization?
I just came across an excellent report, The Employee Engagement Working Paper, by Prof. Nitin Vazirani, M.Com. in Finance, M.Com in Mgmt, M.H.R.D.M. PhD (Pursuing) of the SIES College of Management Studies. The paper focuses on how employee engagement is an antecedent of job involvement and what companies should do to make the employees engaged. Below is just an excerpt from the working paper, but I absolutely encourage you to read the report in its entirety.
Critical factors to moving beyond buzz words
- Career Development- Opportunities for Personal Development. Organizations with high levels of engagement provide employees with opportunities to develop their abilities, learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and realize their potential. When companies plan for the career paths of their employees and invest in them in this way their people invest in them.
- Career Development – Effective Management of Talent. Career development influences engagement for employees and retaining the most talented employees and providing opportunities for personal development.
- Leadership – Respectful Treatment of Employees. Successful organizations show respect for each employee’s qualities and contribution – regardless of their job level.
- Empowerment. Employees want to be involved in decisions that affect their work. The leaders of high engagement workplaces create a trustful and challenging environment, in which employees are encouraged to dissent from the prevailing orthodoxy and to input and innovate to move the organization forward.
- Image. How much employees are prepared to endorse the products and services which their company provides its customers depends largely on their perceptions of the quality of those goods and services. High levels of employee engagement are inextricably linked with high levels of customer engagement.
- Performance appraisal. Fair evaluation of an employee’s performance is an important criterion for determining the level of employee engagement. The company which follows an appropriate performance appraisal technique (which is transparent and not biased) will have high levels of employee engagement.
- Job Satisfaction. Only a satisfied employee can become an engaged employee. Therefore it is very essential for an organization to see to it that the job given to the employee matches his career goals which will make him enjoy his work and he would ultimately be satisfied with his job.
- Communication. The company should follow the open door policy. There should be both upward and downward communication with the use of appropriate communication channels in the organization. If the employee is given a say in the decision making and has the right to be heard by his boss than the engagement levels are likely to be high.
- Family Friendliness. A person’s family life influences his wok life. When an employee realizes that the organization is considering his family’s benefits also, he will have an emotional attachment with the organization which leads to engagement.
- Co-operation. If the entire organization works together by helping each other i.e. all the employees as well as the supervisors coordinate well than the employees will be engaged.
Implementing an action plan
- Listen. The employer must listen to its employees and remember that this is a continuous process. The information employee’s supply will provide direction . This is the only way to identify their specific concerns.
- Measure. Current levels of employee engagement needs to be measured at regular intervals in order to track its contribution to the success of the organization. But measuring the engagement (feedback through surveys) without planning how to handle the results can make employees even more disengaged. It is not enough to feel the pulse—the action plan is just as essential.
- Identify. Identify the problem areas to see which are the exact areas which lead to disengaged employees.
- Act. Then take action to improve employee engagement by acting upon the problem areas. Nothing is more discouraging to employees than to be asked for their feedback and see no movement toward resolution of their issues. Even the smallest actions taken to address concerns will let the employees know how their input is valued.
Employee engagement emphasizes the importance of employee communication on the success of a business. An organization should thus recognize employees, more than any other variable, as powerful contributors to a company’s competitive position. Therefore employee engagement should be a continuous process of learning, improvement, measurement and action.
Raising and maintaining employee engagement lies in the hands of an organization and requires a perfect blend of time, effort, commitment and investment to craft a successful endeavor.
About this Working Paper:
The SIES College of Management Studies Working Paper Series attempt to disseminate the findings of research in specific areas and also to facilitate discussions and sharing of perspectives and information about the identified areas. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The views, findings, and interpretations expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not represent the views of SIESCOMS and its management. These working papers are made available online at www.siescoms.edu.