The food analogy here is almost apt for demonstrating how employee engagement is often overlooked and underrated in comparison to the more substantial functions of recruitment, benefits administration or even HCM analytics in Talent Management teams across the world.
The key, however, is in the appeal – and in today’s digitally connected world, nothing speaks louder than a bunch of happy employees smiling together at work in a social media post. Employee engagement has, over the years, become a crucial differentiator between companies where people go to work and companies where people go to win.
The buy-in from management and ownership, is, however, a different story altogether. Employee engagement does NOT produce direct top line results. What it does, when implemented right, is reining in employee turnover. As valuable as that is to a business, it is sad to see it not being on top of the typical CHRO’s agenda in most companies.
Here are a few quick pointers on rolling out an employee engagement model that enhances productivity, reduces employee turnover and overall disengagement.
Rethink “Engagement” – It is more than just a calendar of fun activities and motivational speeches now. Successful business heads today analyze the exact requirements, employee psyche, overall productivity and identify the engagement programs that act as a remedial measure. This is then permeated from the business line heads in a top-down manner, with clinical precision, adding constant feedback as a critical component in the entire process.
Deploy Technology – It’s not just about an employee database or a payroll software anymore. Talent Management technologies have taken on a whole new meaning with analytics and automated, intelligent and integrated communication, real time. Online, multi-media rich learning and development programs integrated within the platforms is an emerging trend and performance oriented gamification and reward plans are increasingly acting as major focus areas. Are CHROs listening?
Flex, Flex, Flex – From telecommuting to secure remote access platforms and document control protocols, employees today are more engaged when they get to choose how, when and where they work. The millennial workforce is a case in point.
CSR – The new age workforce is social, and it is responsible. Corporate Social Responsibility is important to employees like never before. They want to make a difference, and as a CHRO, engaging them includes fulfilling this particular aspiration. A well showcased CSR initiative also portrays a responsible and benevolent brand – the perfect hook to attract today’s top talent.
Learning – The advent of online learning is not on the sidelines anymore. They form one of the cores of a successful employee engagement program today. The most prestigious institutions across the world are focused on further educating the working professional of today, and CHROs are increasingly leveraging this trend to maximize employee retention. Studies have repeatedly shown that employees pursuing certifications tend to stay back until the completion of their courses.
Back to the food analogy, it’s not just the ingredients, but also the skill of the chef that goes into a good dish, and that is exactly the role a CHRO plays in the making of the perfect workforce, not unlike that perfect steak.