The relationship between the employer and the employee has experienced a significant shift over the past few years. Employee engagement is about creating an environment where the employees willingly offer greater amount of their ability and potential. In fact, senior management needs to invest more time to develop strategies required to attract new staff and retain them.
When employees feel engaged, they voluntarily make efforts towards achieving the organization’s goals. Employers need to create an atmosphere to build a positive behaviour and attitude in the workplace to improve the overall business outcome. But it is not only about having game rooms, quarterly team dinners or half-yearly team outings. It is not only about employee satisfaction or employee happiness. A satisfied employee might be content with the work he/she does, but would not make that extra effort or might not voluntarily complete the work he/she is capable of. A happy employee might be happy with the organization and the pay, but it may not really mean that he/she is working productively enough to reach the targets.
Employee engagement is creating an environment where the employees willingly offer greater amount of their ability and potential; engagements that create an emotional connect between the employee and organisation; where he/she does not just work for the sake of promotion but works on behalf of the company objectives.
The leadership team should recognise the individuality of the employees, motivate them and create a synergetic environment where everyone is progressing towards the same objective. To achieve this, there should be a short term and long term strategy.
Short term employee engagement plan:
A short term employee engagement strategy should be one of the major goals of the leadership team. This strategy can have plans for 1 – 2 years to accomplish certain goals before any key member shifts from a role. Main points to remember while creating a short term plan:
- Provide a vision for growth
- Create an atmosphere of mutual trust
- Assign right people in the right position
- Get to know the employees
- Initiate team building activities
- Create opportunities for new experiences
- Set right expectations
- Reward and encourage employees
- Show that you care, be mindful of those around you
Sometimes, there will be employees who would want to leave. In this era, it’s not healthy for the organisation to hold back a person. Instead guide them, give the right feedback and wish them good luck. Such communication will spread good word about the organisation in the industry.
Long term employee engagement plan:
A long term employee engagement strategy is for a span of 5-10 years. In the long run these plans should evolve to become more of company hygiene. Some companies hesitate to invest in employee engagement activities especially training, fearing that employees might move out with the knowledge. However, companies must invest in long term employee engagement keeping in mind the brand image and employee productivity. While some might move out post all the training, there will be those who stay back and make the investment worthwhile.
Long term employee engagement plan should involve:
- Feedback surveys, this could be anonymous too
- Career development and career planning
- Regular and actionable performance review
- Train potential employees to reach the senior management level
- Involve the entire team
To remain successful, organisations have to take the extra step to support overall development of their employees through effective employee engagement programs. Employee engagement is the key to a high performing workforce. When employees are more engaged, the outcomes are very productive leading to a cheerful workplace!