In my previous blog post “How to find out what engage an employee?” I have shared my thoughts on engaging an employee depending upon his level in organization hierarchy, demographics and individual requirement after having a look at employee engagement survey form filled by employees. It was thinking out of box when it comes to employee engagement.
But there are some “must have” factors which you should have, if you want engaged employees in your organization.
1. Employee Induction- First impression is the last impression
You must have heard that first impression is the last impression and another saying which says that you will never get a second chance to create your first impression. When an employee joins an organization, he has mixed feelings of excitement, nervousness, uncertainty etc. He is not aware about work culture of organization and how things work.
You should start employee engagement from this very first stage. Your induction program should be robust. It should ensure that apart from basic joining formalities, you should make employee aware about your organization, its culture, support to employees, project/ department, he will be assigned to and all the those things which you have in your organization for employee well being. He should meet his reporting manager and reporting manager should spend some quality time with new joinee so that he feels comfortable about work assignment he need to handle.
Have a look at my blog post “Effective On Boarding process : Step By Step approach” to learn more about Effective on boarding process.
Many organizations have Buddy programs to help new joinees settle in the system. Every new joinee gets a buddy who is an old employee of the organization and who helps new joinee to know about company. Buddy also helps him to understand the project / department he will work for. That’s the reason buddy is the person who is most probably from same department.
Learn more about Buddy program in my blog post “What is Buddy program and how to design it?”
2. Adequate and right resources to work
Employee expects that organization should provide right and adequate resources to execute assigned task. In absence of same, work will suffer and at the same time employee will feel frustrated. Hence it is important that organization should take care of it. Other than that, basic infrastructure should be in place.
3. Work environment where an employee has freedom to share inputs
One of the basic requirements to ensure engaged employees is to have work environment where employees are encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions. Employee should get answers of queries coming in their mind. It does not mean that you need to implement all the suggestions coming from employees but to evaluate and see what makes sense for organization and take action accordingly.
Always revert back to employee with feedback on suggestion made by them. This is one of the reason, I always suggest that you should share feedback or action taken on suggestions / feedback shared by employees after employee engagement survey. If you can’t do that, then better not to do such surveys.
Work environment where employees are not encouraged to share their views become disengaging.
4. Mature performance management system
I have always advocated for matured performance management system in many of my blog posts. I feel that if you have a matured performance management system then it takes care of most of your problems related to human resources. A matured performance management system can also help in engaging your employees.
Refer my following blogs to read more about a matured performance management system:
Employees are sensitive when it comes to their performance evaluation. Every employee feels that they have given their best in prevailing circumstances hence they may come up with excuses if they don’t meet their targets or deadlines. This becomes a point of argument between employee and manager which leads to dis satisfaction. It is not about who is right and wrong but about transparency in the process of performance evaluation.
If you can build a system where employees are aware about their deliverable in beginning of month and what kind of performance rating they can score depending upon their achievement then you can reduce such frictions at end of month when employee gets it s performance rating. Performance evaluation can be on monthly basis or any other tenure.
Also performance evaluation should be supported with adequate data point. Employees do not argue on final outcome as he was aware about evaluation process and there is complete transparency in his performance evaluation.
This helps a lot in engaging employee. It builds employee’s faith in organization and its processes & policies which is very much required and is the base of employee engagement.
5. Opportunity to LEARN
You as an individual would like to work with an organization which cares about employee learning. We spend 8-9 hours in a day in office and hardly get time at home to learn new things. If our organization can take care of our learning then we feel attached. Many companies sponsor training programs for employees so that they can learn new things and apply learning in their work to benefit organization. It is WIN WIN for both employee and organization.
You can also conduct internal training programs to ensure that employees are learning things which are useful in their current profile or acquire skills which are missing. If you do this honestly, this will help in employee engagement.
Have a look at my following blog post to learn about contribution of trainings in employee growth.
6. Opportunity to GROW
Everyone wants to grow in their career along with learning. Growth should be continuous. This is one of the biggest challenges for HR to ensure growth for employees. A mature performance management system helps in this a lot. One of the outcomes of matured performance management system is to identify employees who are performing very well. Once you have list of such employees then you can design programs to develop their skills to make them ready to take up next higher level responsibility. Other employees should be motivated to score higher performance rating so that they can also participate in such training programs. One of the biggest advantage of driving growth plan of an employee through mature performance system is that other employees who have scored average rating do not object as they know that performance rating has come from data points otherwise if you implement growth plan for certain employees without a matured performance management system then you land up creating more disengage employees as others feel that they have not been given fair chance.
7. Competitive pay package
Well, competitive pay package is another important aspect which can disengage an employee. If employee working on a particular profile do not get competitive pay package then it can be a reason for his disengagement. HR should do both external and internal salary bench marking.
In External benchmark, HR should survey pay package of all the profiles in organization in similar industry. This will give an idea of what is the standard pay package each profile should get. I suggest, 20% up and down is ok. If deviation is more than 20% then necessary action should be taken to correct it. Management should also understand importance of such exercise and re work on its compensation structure. If you can not be best then try to be at par as far as pay packages are concern.
HR should also do internal benchmark. Internal benchmark is the process which shows deviation in salary of individuals who are working on same profile. Again, I would suggest deviation of 20% should be ok. Corrective actions should be taken it deviation more than 20%. If we don’t maintain internal bench marking of individual salaries then someday employee will approach you with its grievance on less salary payout as compared to other peers on same profile.
Hence, a robust compensation policy should be in place.
8. Other employee welfare related initiatives
Initiative taken for employee welfare do play important role. These are some value add which organization gives to its employees. Organization provide medical insurance, Car lease, Employee help desk, crèches for kids, flexi timing, work from home, 5 days a week working especially in countries where many companies still work for 6 days a week is etc. Employee do value these initiatives
Please do share any other aspect which you feel is important to build an engaged environment and I forget to mention 🙂