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There are several ways in which Employee engagement can be defined, however there is no perfect single definition. The importance of Employee engagement varies from organisation to organisation per their different needs, different culture and different environment. The important thing which has to be taken in consideration while defining Employee engagement is, it should be defined for our own organisational purpose.
Employee engagement is an organisational tool which organisation uses to create a contractual relationship between firm and employee which result in;
Employee understands the objective and goal of organisation and creates a sense of commitment to achieve the organisational goals and objective.
Employer acknowledges and regards employee aims and desires.
The contractual relationship becomes very important for any organisation. Therefore it becomes very important for any organisation to invent such environment which results in contractual relationship. This contractual relationship further develops a sense of bonding and ownership in employee's mind toward the organisation. For example nobody will wash a rented vehicle but he will wash the vehicle when there is ownership values attached to it. So this ownership values becomes very important at workplace. A sense of ownership attached to any activity will lead a person to outperform its capabilities to achieve the task.
There are some key factors which are used to understand the Employee Engagement concept.
Commitment: Employee Engagement basically shows the amount of individual's commitment for the organisation with which he performs in the organisation. Employee at any position outperforms their capabilities to achieve the high end results. Employees are committed towards long term objective to enhance the organisational success along with short term objectives "the relative strength of an individual's identification with and involvement in any particular organisation".
Attitude: An employee in an engaged organisation always has positive attitude about the organisation's mission and objectives. Positive attitude of the employee helps them to achieve career success. Positive attitude people develop less stress at workplace. It reduces the absenteeism and increases productivity. Employee working with positive attitude in sales function achieves better performance as compares to other in the organisation.
Communication: Engaged employees develops good communication skills in the organisation. In an engaged environment two way communication exits where management appreciates both employee and management to share their thoughts, persuasion, emotions, facts and distress to each other.
Goals: In an engaged environment employees understands the organisational goal and performs effectively along with their co-employee to achieve these goals. Here everyone works on the same level of understanding about goals and performs with coordination with each other.
Customer focus: In an engaged organisation all employees tends to work towards meeting customer expectations in term of quality, Service, Relation etc
Alignment: Reward and recognition systems become very important to create engaged environment. Management must ensure that organisation's reward and recognition systems are carefully aligned with overall objective of the firm. In a good system employee work effectively to achieve firm's success. Employer acknowledges how an individual success is related to organisational success. Factors like employee retention, productivity and trust are maintained at high level and improved. Management maintains proper control in complex processes of the organisation and gains greater success in market. Same time employee feels a sense of acceptance as they feel themselves as a part of assets of the organisation.
Loyalty: In an engaged environment loyalty goes beyond expectations of the organisation in a positive values.
Involvement: In case of engagement employee performs extra work then not just what is assigned to them. They do additional work without expecting any rewards,
Ownership: Employee feels a sense of ownership in the organisation which is very important for organisational success. With the sense of ownership employee becomes more concern about profit and loss of business which nobody wants his business to make loss.
How to get employee engaged
Leave your negative impression about any employee. Consider each employee as a valuable resource to the organisation. Each employee has different knowledge and skills which can be utilised effectively to achieve the organisational objective. Organisation can achieve their goals with the contribution of each member of the organisation.
Ensure that employee is provided with all the resources they required to carry out their job. This can be done by taking feedback from employee on asking what their needs are. Create an environment where you can ask the employees in.
Make the employee understand why he is in the organisation. Make the employee clearly understand what organisational goals are and what should be his contribution towards these goals. Ensure to put across this important message among each employee to make them work in right direction.
It is equally important to understand employee's goal also and also what makes their job interesting.
Organisation should celebrate their success among all the employees and appreciates their contribution towards the organisation. Reward and recognition should be given to all employees for their contribution.
It should be ensured that employees get technical and management trainings time to time to improve their analytical and problem solving skill. It provides a great feel of satisfaction which naturally motivates employee.
Conduct a open house session for all employees time to time. Ask them to participates and write about all good things, bad things, and problems they have come across. Ask for their idea about business issues.
Create an environment where all co-workers appreciate each other for their success. Appreciation and applause should not only come from top management and team but it should come from all levels.
Ensure how employees can present their suggestion across the organisation.
Let the employees feel that they are the biggest assets of the organisation, their combined ideas and suggestions can march the organisation toward success.
PRINCIPLES OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
"Engagement is not a gift, it must be earned"
Employee engagement does not get implemented in the organisation by its own. It becomes very important for the organisation to create such environment which leads toward employee engagement. Organisation has to provide resources and work to achieve this relation between employee and organisation.
"The organisation must be aligned for engagement".
Employee engagement needs involvement of all position i.e. from top management to all level employees. Employees from all different levels have to appreciate the idea of engagement.
"Communication is essential for engagement"
Effective communication is very essential in engagement process. Effective communication provides transparency and integrity between different level of the organisation.
"Employee must understand what is expected of them and receive feedback on the performance"
It becomes very important that employee should understand what company wants from him to achieve organisational goals. Many times employee don't realise this also they don't receive feedback from their team leader and superiors. Engaged employee understands this concept very well and they perform in right direction.
"Supervisory relationship are important for engagement to exist"
Team leader should have positive supervisory relationship throughout the organisation in order to maintain engaged environment. They should have knowledge of employee engagement concept and maintain the working relationships
" Engagement must ultimately be focused on meeting the needs of the customer of the organisation"
As a end result of employee engagement customer expectation should be met. Customer should be happy to expand their business in future. Customer centric approach exists in engaged environment.
" There need to be a sense of ownership on the part of employee concerning their job"
There has to be a feeling f ownership along with responsibilities and accountability. Ownership itself acts as a motivator. Ownership feeling makes employee more concerned about the company's business rather than just concerned about their job. In general one cannot expect the employee to have such concerns about company's business whereas engaged environment helps to achieve this feeling.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Game plan: A game plan is like road map which clearly makes you analyze on which direction you are going. What you have to do to reach to your desired place. Game plan helps in obtaining desired result. Without a proper game plan it is very difficult to achieve employee engagement.
Competition: Competition provides the opportunity to become better. Competition takes you toward achieving success because you know well to beat other in the competition you need to work hard. But it normally happens in many organisations that one department is competing with other department rather than focusing on real competition. The real competition refers to different organisations competition with our organisation and they likely to divert our customers and business towards them. The real competition is to beat this organisation that is trying to capture our market share. Entire effort should be focused to beat these organisations.
Fans: Fans are the ones who standby our sides in our winning or losing situation. However there are many supports when you win but there are some faithful fans who standby you in case of losing situation as well. Think about your team's fan in the organisation who support during crises and how these team fan supports and motivates team when they are not performing well. Your team fan may be the top management of the organisation and other department as well, who encourages and motivates team in their good and bad times. You must communicate to your fans and make them understand the importance of employee engagement.
Fundamentals: Every game plan must work on some fundamentals to perform the task in right direction. You can see from the world's most successful players or businessman that they always follow some fundamentals which makes them successful. In absence of these fundamentals game may find losses. It becomes very important to define the own fundamentals in the organisation and ensure all employees follows these fundamentals.
Talent: Talent is what differentiates one person to the other. Every player in the team should be talented. Talented employees are biggest strength of any organisation, which makes huge difference in organisational success. Talented player can be selected by applying good selection technique during recruitment and also the existing employee can trained to become more talented.
Plays: team should have different play which they practise to defeat the competitor or won the competition. These plays are designed in different style as per the different completion. These plays are basically related to work within the organisation. It must be ensured that how well team prepare with these plays and strategies, which helps them in perform well against the competitors.
Rules: There has to some set of rules in every game, which helps you to perform in logical way. If one not following these rules many results in penalties. You must define such rules in the organisation to achieve effective results. These rules should be followed by team to achieve organisational success.
Team work: Without good team work i is very difficult to achieve desired result. Team work is combined effort of all team player. Team achieve success when all players perform as per common level of understanding of goals. Team work achieves greater success as compared with individual efforts. How well organisation performs shoes how better is your team work and how better they have performed.
Bench: every team should have good bench strength. Some times in absence of the key players other team players should have talent to replace the key player and get ready to lead. The real strength of the team is the player who performs currently but the players who equally ready to take the challenges and replace them.
PRICE OF UNENGAGEMENT
In case of non employee engagement the cost the cost that a organisation has to in occur is calculated by below formula;
Opportunity lost Â± Potential gain = Price of UN engagement
Wasted resource Reduction in cost
Employee turnover Skilled Employee
Downtime Increase in capacity
Defects Good product quality
Out of specification within specification
Delay Compliance to delivery
Unsatisfied customers satisfied customer
The argument here is not what cost of en engagement is but in other words what the cost is if employees are not engaged. We can see above wasted resources are opportunity lost and reduction in cost is gain, the gain can be achieved by engaging employee to find out the solution to convert wasted resources into reduced material cost. The difference between two is price of UN engagement. For example if the cost of wasted resources is 10000£ per annum and by engaging the employee who find solution to reduce the material cost by 5000£ than wasting the resources the potential gain will be 15000£ per annum.
Fig (a): Conventional Organizational Structure
Fig (b): Engaged Organizational Structure
Generally organisation structure levels are defined as upper management, middle management, supervisors, employees or workers. In many organisations major decisions are taken by top management and some minor decisions are taken by other level. This is most likely to happen in organisation shown in fig (a).
Whereas in an engaged organisation structure shown in fig (b) there is an overlap in all the level, where communication happens among all the level. Communication doesn't happen in isolation. The organisation with this structure is more likely to achieve better results also result in good employee engagement.
Typical employee engagement distribution
Figure: Typical Employee Engagement Distribution.
Source:Performancepoint,LLCThe distribution structure shows there are only14% of employee who are fully engaged. This clearly gives an indication that only few employees involved in taking organisation decision and moving business forward. This becomes an obstacle for any organisation to succeed in terms of goals, objective, mission and vision.
Measurement of employee engagement
Employee engagement needs to be measured effectively time to time to understand its benefits toward organisational success. This can be done through surveys. These survey the current level of engagement. A well administrative survey shows the level at which the employees are operating. These surveys are useful when feedback data is properly captured in the survey report. Employee engagement process should be considered as a continuous process of measuring, analyzing, defining and implementing. Studies of Gallop (oldest consultancy organisation) have come up with twelve question survey which is strongly related to measurement of employee engagement.
Are you aware what organisation expects from your job?
Is all resources allotted to you?
Are you getting the chances to do the best?
Did you get appreciation for your work in lat one week?
Is your team leader cares your feeling?
Are employees at work happy about your development?
Are your ideas being considered?
Do the company's objectives make you feel that your job is special?
Are your co-workers are concerned about the quality as you are?
Did you find friend in the organisation?
Did anyone discussed about your growth?
Did you get enough chance to develop and learn?
As a result of employee engagement, organisation achieves both tangible and intangible benefits. Tangible benefits includes high turnover, increase in market share, high profit margins etc.
Whereas intangible benefits includes;
Greater job satisfaction among the employees. Employee engagement makes employee to develop great amount of satisfaction. This is due to employee feeling about their control of job and contribution towards the organisation.
It is very difficult to work for anyone in negative work place. Application of employee engagement results in positive work place where employee feels happy and easy to work.
It reduces unwanted stresses from work place which reduces the chances of conflict. Employee understands their roles and responsibilities and follows clear path to achieve the goal.
Employee maintains better coordination among all level of employee. They co operate each other well.
It creates opportunity to develop great amount of trust between employees and organisation. Mistrust is a result of miscommunication. In engaged environment communication between all levels is very transparent and effective, which avoids any confusion or misleading.
It helps in employee personal growth, developing knowledge, professional skills and analytical skill. This makes an employee more innovative and creative.
It results in creating strong relationship between employee and organisation.
Employee works in a smart way rather than just working hard. Employees work with lot of potential & creativity to improve the performance.
Flow of communication takes place well. Employees from all level shares their idea and concerns to each other.
Engaged employees are really concerned about growth of the organisation rather than just focusing on their personal growth.
The biggest advantage to have this concept in the organisation is achievement of high customer's satisfaction and their needs.