Tag Archives: Career development

Importance of Employee Engagement

Ganesh Subramanian talks about why the art of employee engagement is of utmost importance to organizations. 

employee-engagement-survey-staff-survey

There was a time when job hopping was a phenomenon that was unheard of. When we look at work in times of our fathers and forefathers, loyalty was a given thing; it was not sought after by the employers. It was nothing surprising to hear a person start a career with a company and stick on to it till retirement.

Fast forward to the late 90s…

…India was a growing economy and opportunities were aplenty. Employees kept changing jobs at will whenever they felt saturated in their current role or whenever they desired better profiles and higher salaries. It is not uncommon to find the youth of today changing jobs once in every 2-3 years or even lesser in some cases. As a result, employers nowadays, look at loyalty factor when it comes to new hiring. But what about the current employees – how to ensure that they stick to the same company and don’t take away the knowledge with them to another competitor? This is where “employee engagement” comes into the picture.

Let us look at a simpler way to understand the term engagement. We hear people say “I got engaged” in a marriage parlance. What this means is that you have consented to live your life with a particular person and you are committed to uphold that relationship. Employee engagement can be understood as something similar, wherein an employee is committed to the job and does not quit the company because he likes the job. To create this feeling among the employees is one of the biggest challenges of HR professionals.

Different techniques have been practiced and tested in employee engagement. Games, recognition, rewards, team outings, career development initiatives, like training programmes, interaction with the senior management, etc. are some of the ways by which HRs of various companies try to keep their employee engaged. There is no one right technique for employee engagement as companies are different, the sectors they operate in are different, organization culture is different and so are the employees. What works for one company may not work for another. Therefore, it is imperative for HR professionals to understand the pulse of their employees and customize and design employee engagement initiatives that will help their company.

Often employee engagement surveys conducted inside companies do not serve the purpose for which it was designed. Lack of interest in the survey and a general lackadaisical attitude among employees make the survey a futile exercise. This is where interaction with the team leads or business heads of various divisions helps. They can give a reasonable response about the general problems that hamper the productivity of their divisions. When a deeper introspection into a department is done, more often than not, one can find that the causes of dissatisfaction among the employees are the subtle/minor things which others feel are unimportant. Rectifying these minor irritants is sometimes just enough to win back the trust of the employees.

To conclude, employee engagement is more of an art than a science. Understanding the emotional pulse of the employee can go a long way in retaining a talented, productive workforce.

Advertisements

Next Gen HR Mantra – Competency Based Approach

Business people crossing finish line

By Gurulakshmi Iyer-Hait

Dramatic growth will take place when we focus on the organization-with technology a part – rather than on technology alone.

-C.K.Prahlad

As a HR professional in a knowledge and tech based organization, when I had to frame a model for the annual appraisal process, I was surprised to see a paradigm shift by the top management. Instead of evaluating what is achieved, there has been a shift in the method to it being how it is achieved. Such competencies actually develop when multiple technologies are harmonized. Knowledge in most organizations is held by people. What is more difficult to identify are managerial competencies. Research shows leveraging on managerial competencies clubbed with efficient organization management can give an organization a competitive edge. So the framework basically comprised of managerial competencies.

It is expected of a manager to react to constant business changes in internal and external environment. Hence it has become a challenge for the HR to identify the managerial competencies. The biggest benefit of such approach is that it focuses on a specific employee and not the work position and does not comply with the HR policy. Hence not only training and development has to be taken care of, but also the career development factor is taken care of in this approach. This in turn also complies to the Maslow’s law of Hierarchy.

While I was working there, we had developed a model in connection with the organizational values rather than individual work positions. The model really helped in enabling to identify, measure and evaluate competencies within the organization. However every organization has their own models and there is no common consensus in regard to what framework should be followed.

According to Lucia and Lepsinger, certain competencies might be generic across several organizations but behaviors relating to those competencies vary widely from organization to organization. Hence in this approach it is the employees who are an important source for achieving a competitive edge to the organization.

next_generation_employee