Friday, August 06, 2010

Why Employee Engagement is a must ?

‘Employee engagement’ has of late been the buzzword in HR corridors.

And rightfully so, as organisations are realising that nothing can be more damaging for any workplace than disgruntled or disengaged employees – and hence, the increased stress on employee engagement.

NS Rajan, partner, EMEIA Leader and National Head, people & organization, Ernst & Young states, “The term ‘employee engagement’ is an evolved version of ‘employee satisfaction’. While satisfaction refers to ‘contentment’, engagement refers to ‘commitment’ and the drive to go beyond the call of duty to work towards organisational goals.”

The performance of an organisation has a strong correlation with employee engagement. More enhanced the engagement levels of employees, better the organisation’s performance, in terms of revenues, profits, productivity, retention and customer satisfaction. Secondly, an engaged employee’s word of mouth creates a positive image of the organisation, thus attracting quality talent to the organisation.

KA Narayan, president HR, Raymond Group states, “The difference between a happening workplace and an uninspiring workplace depends on the levels of employee engagement. The success of an organisation revolves around the percentage of engaged employees.”

Employees in almost every workplace can be bifurcated into four categories: highly engaged, engaged, disengaged and actively disengaged. While engaged employees contribute to the optimum, the disengaged ones just follow the routine - and those who are actively disengaged, go to the extent of disrupting the normal functioning. Rajan believes that the focus should be on classifying issues that impact employee engagement. As per him, the key drivers/pillars can be categorised into:

Areas of Strength

Engagement levels above 80 per cent

Moderate levels of engagement

Engagement levels between 60-80 per cent

As per global studies, employee engagement depends on many factors. The most important among them are:

a. The employee’s own unique psychological makeup and experience

b. The employers’ ability to create conducive conditions enhancing employee engagement

c. Strong internal communication, both top down and bottom up.

Rajan points out that for each organisation, an employee’s needs may vary significantly. For example, in a very young organisation, the driver for employees may be fast career progression, whereas in an organisation with higher average age, the need may be for affiliation and relationships may be higher. In some organisations, due to the DNA of the organisation, quality of work and recognition may be more important than compensation. He adds, “The most commonly used engagement pillars are - job satisfaction, senior leadership, work culture, rewards, affiliation with co-workers, work-life balance, physical work environment, career growth and opportunities.”

Sushil Baveja, group HR head, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd believes that the factors impacting employee engagement can be bifurcated in two heads: professional and personal. He elaborates, “There can be many professional factors but some of the key ones include role and responsibility, development opportunities and growth, reward and recognition, work environment and value system of the organisation. On the personal front, some of the key ones include care and concern, relationships and respect and dignity.”

Source ET

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