• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Are water-cooler perceptions driving employee engagement in your organisation?

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Just in case leaders are not in the know, employees are asking (and answering) questions similar to those listed below as they gist around the water-cooler at work. For some organisations, these have the greatest impact on the perception of employee engagement:

1. The top leaders at my organisation are committed to making it a great place to work.

2. There is trust in the leadership of the company where I work.

3. I believe this company will be successful in the future.

4. Even though it sounds cliché, the top leaders at the company where I work, value people.

5. I know how I fit into the organisation’s future plans.

6. Career development and growth opportunities are available to me at this organisation.

If we were to simplify the employee engagement discussion, it would be important for us to identify the foundational ‘materials’ that make it work. There is, of course, a range of opinions on what these foundational ‘materials’ or key drivers are. After garnering views from a wide range of practitioners, employers, consultants and employees on what drives engagement, three (3) broad foundational ‘materials’ of employee engagement were cited as being critical:

Perceptions of trust and integrity: When employees trust “management” and know that the behaviour throughout the organisation is consistent with stated values, it breeds employee loyalty and engagement.

Leadership & the efforts of engaging managers: Managers are at the heart of the organisational culture leadership creates. Managers and line leaders sustain the culture, facilitate and empower rather than control or restrict their staff; they treat their staff with appreciation and respect and show commitment to their development.

Empowered employee voice: Employees would give their best to an organisation when they know their views are sought out; they are listened to and their opinions count and make a difference.

When comparing engagement levels for the top 25 percent of Gallup’s survey database to the bottom 25 percent, the more engaged groups showed the following improvements: 22 percent in profitability, 21 percent in productivity, 10 percent in customer ratings, 41percent in quality defects, 48 percent in safety incidents, 41percent in patient safety incidents, 37 percent in absenteeism and 28 percent in shrinkage

More and more people in the C-Suite have become burdened with the need to create a more engaged workforce as the benefits of doing that have become very obvious.

The truth is that engagement is more than mere job satisfaction; fully engaged employees are motivated and dedicated to making the organisation a success. In simple terms, engaged employees lead to happy, loyal customers and repeat business. Engagement also leads to improvement in retention levels and impacts the bottom line.

Are water-cooler perceptions driving employee engagement at your company? Leaders need to take the driver’s seat and translate the “talk” to action.

Ngozi Adebiyi is the lead consultant at OutsideIn HR, a firm that focuses on practical interventions that address the challenges of businesses today. The Firm also specialises in HR Business Partnering, Engagement & Retention with the goal of “Revolutionising HR in Nigeria”.

Ngozi Adebiyi