—Capt Mahesh Chandra Singh Bhakuni (Head HR-ANI)
It has been an intriguing question since time immemorial how the great empires and organizations are built ? The study revealed that it was an approach created to ensure that people were committed to their goals, objectives and values, encouraged to contribute to the success. It was an emotional attachment one felt towards the place of work, role, position within the organisation, fellows and culture. This attachment had effect on the wellbeing and productivity. It brought overall a competitive advantage.
I have noticed that there are several factors and practices that keep a person engaged. These are deeply rooted and practiced in all successful organizations. What makes an employee Engaged, Not Engaged and Actively Disengaged? Today it is one of the biggest challenges before the world. Interestingly while the mankind has progressed so much and reached the moon and other stars, there are only 29% employees who are engaged. 54% employees are Not engaged and 17% employees are Actively disengaged. We all know that the engaged people only are instrumental to take the organization forward and they are the prime movers in the organization. They work with passion and they drive innovation and move their organization forward. Not Engaged employees are switched off having no productive relationship with their managers. They are into sleep walk and busy in saving their jobs. The Actively Disengaged employees are Cave Dwellers. They sow seeds of negativity at every opportunity. Every day, actively disengaged workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.
What makes an employee engaged? How does engagement effect the organization ? How does it matter at work place?
The answers of the above questions can be found easily if one studies Two great organizations of our country. Indian Army and The Tata Group. We have fought four battles with Pakistan and one with China. Our success in the war fought in 1971 has been written in the golden words in the history. In current times, the victory in Kargil clearly spells out the meaning of Engagement. The great words of Major Vikram Batra “Ye dil Maange More” speaks volumes about the engagement of the troops lead by him. The another organization we fondly quote is Tata Group. The Heroes of Mumbai Taj Hotel are one of the best examples of engagement. Something extraordinary happened when it was besieged by terrorists on 26 November 2008. The day on which rampaging terrorists killed some 150 people at 10 locations in South Mumbai, including 11 employees of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. None of the Taj employees had fled the scene to protect themselves during the attack. They knew all the escape routes but they all stayed at the hotel to help the guests. Taj hotel employees who made sure that every guest they could find was safely ferreted out of the hotel, at grave risk to their own lives,”
The above two incidents are perfect examples of Employee engagement. They have answered many of my questions. How can a member of an institution be so passionate?
As a former member of the Armed Forces and currently engaged in corporate sector, I find there are several factors and best practices, which contribute in employee engagement.
The first lesson I learnt is Leadership. It inspires you 24×7. It is basically motivating others, setting examples, delegating tasks and giving clear and detailed directions. It was the Leadership of Vikram Batra cultivated in peace time and displayed in war scenario. In Mumbai Taj Hotel the General Manager Was busy leading the team of extraordinary workers in saving the lives of guests when his family was burnt alive on the 6th floor of the hotel. Team work, a crucial part of military experience, which brings Camaraderie, is a crucial part of the military experience.The leader understands the value of teamwork, and how diverse people can work together to achieve goals. In business too, big success is attributed to the spirit of teamwork. Wars are won by team work and camaraderie of the troops. The team spirit is best shown in the most difficult times at Taj Mumbai during those tough days.
Strong Work Ethic is taken very seriously by each and everyone with minimal supervision. Core Values guide the members towards the objectives. It is the unwavering faith of the team members, which keeps them, focused in difficult times. During the study done by Howard on the behaviour of the employees of The Taj during the attack by the terrorists. It was found that a corporation called the Tata group, which for the past hundred years has been run by an extremely religious family that is interested in social justice, owns The Taj. The company typically channels about two-thirds of its profits into a charitable trust. The ethical behaviour is ingrained in the employees through leadership and continuous training. The hiring and on boarding exercise is very strong in both Military and Tata Group.
The Ability to Handle Stressful Situations helps the employees to perform their jobs under some of the most stressful situations imaginable. With this responsibility comes with added pressure and stress. Engaged employees are trained to handle these factors in a constructive way. They believe that tough times never last but tough people do.
Another quality in a engaged person is Self-direction and Motivation. Engaged employees are self-starters and they are able to analyse and resolve difficult and complex problems without constant guidance from supervisors. A good leadership believes in Unity in Diversity and in the policy of Inclusion. It appreciates working with all types of people regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation as well as mental, physical and attitudinal capabilities.
There are three pillars of practices that explain the engagement of employees:
-A recruitment system that hires for character and not for grades;
-training programmes that not just mentor employees but also empower them to take decisions; and
-a reward programme that recognizes employees on a real-time basis.
There are three stake holders in this entire game of employee engagement
-the manager and
Ask these three questions to get to the bottom of it:
• How well YOU DO as an EMPLOYEE depends on how badly you want to do the work you are doing.
• How well you do as a MANAGER depends on how many people want to work for you.
• And how well you do as a COMPANY depends on how much everyone wants to work towards a common goal.
I would like to end with the three Sanskrit words- Manasa(Mind), Vaacha(Speech), Karmana(Actions). Follow these great words and see the results – Engaged Employees and a Great Organisation