• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Developing and sustaining employee engagement (present continuous)

Developing and sustaining employee engagement

Trust you have had a good week. So much has happened in the last two weeks. Almost difficult to ascertain what kind of week we all have had. I guess I would have to re-phrase the question zeroing in on the exact area I am addressing my question.

For example, how was the relationship life this week, how was financial life this week, how was sporting life this week and so on.

To continue with our theme of employee engagement, today we will be looking at ways to increase employee engagement levels. To this end employers should give careful thought to the design of engagement initiatives.

The organisation may have to make investments in strategic practices, which will enhance engagement. HRM will have to determine which practices are more important and merit greater investment to enhance engagement levels.

HRM should be in the position to demonstrate how these investments in engagement tools have led to positive, measurable business outcomes for the organisation or other businesses. They must think about the likely impact of the revised policies. Are there potentially unintended, unfavourable consequences to staff and or company?

Employee engagement should be measured annually. What you don’t measure, you cannot manage. Survey questions should be linked to the organisation’s key performance measures, such as profitability, productivity, quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Outcomes of employee engagement research should include the identification of the highest-impact engagement levers and survey items that differentiate top-performing business units from less successful units.

The organisation should create an engagement culture and should communicate the value of engagement in the mission statement and executive communications, ensuring that business units implement their engagement action plans, monitoring progress, adjusting strategies and plans as needed, and recognising and celebrating progress and results.

HR practices significantly impact employee engagement. For example, incorporating meaning, variety, autonomy and co-worker respect into jobs and tasks so that employees view their role more broadly and become more willing to take on duties beyond their job description. This is known as job enrichment.

Read also: Experts give insights into how employers can harness young workers’ potential

A good recruitment strategy is key, leading to the selection of staff likely to view their work as interesting and challenging, those most likely to perform job duties well, make voluntary contributions and avoid improper conduct. Weeding out those not likely to thrive. Orientation to create understanding about how the job contributes to the organisation is the next important thing. In fact, this is still part of a good recruitment strategy.

Ongoing skill development training to increase job performance, satisfaction and self-efficacy plus pay-for-performance programmes to focus employees’ attention on incentivised behaviours come next in line. Adopt competency-based pay to encourage acquisition of knowledge and skills and enhance employee performance.

Finally, setting challenging goals that align with the organisation’s strategic objectives, provide feedback, and recognise accomplishments and extra voluntary contributions is just as important as all the above.

Targeted communication initiatives enable line managers and HRM to stay on top of employee engagement issues, get ongoing feedback from staff and anticipate changing needs of different teams. They should take advantage of opportunities to engage employees and should use varied communication methods to do so.

Employers have numerous opportunities for “engageable moments,” when they can motivate and provide direction for employees. These can both be formal and informal opportunities.

The formal include the recruitment process, onboarding, performance reviews, goal setting, training, communications by senior leaders and employee surveys.

The informal opportunities include coaching, mentoring, career development discussions, ongoing performance feedback, recognition programmes, company social events and personal crises.

The size, composition and expected reaction of the target group of employees should dictate the type of communication used for engagement activities, one of the communication methods HRM and line managers can use includes, ‘keeping in touch.’

This is ongoing communications with workgroups which can occur through regular weekly or biweekly meetings, ideally with 10-15 employees in each meeting. In this forum, issues can be resolved, or ideas can be discussed to gain immediate feedback. There could also be one-on-one meetings with an employee who is targeted for superior performance, identified for performance improvement, or randomly chosen from the workgroup.

There can also be remote communication using different technologies that allow line managers and HRM maintain contact. These include employee listening platforms where HRM can survey workers, gather comments and suggestions, conduct exit interviews, etc. Social media and mobile app resources to discuss issues, share ideas, conduct surveys and vote on issues. Blogs that routinely inform and update employees on new initiatives and allow employee responses to be recorded and openly available. Video-conferencing and teleconferencing. E-mailed newsletters.

I know all this is rampant these days but let the discussions and general use of these tools be deliberate and intention. There is more to say on employee engagement. Have a great weekend on all fronts. Be intentional about how you live your life so that every day counts for something at least. By the way, rest and not doing anything counts for a lot.