Employee engagement is a process in which the employee is made to feel at home with the senior management. Management experts have shown time and again that engaged workers feel more comfortable and thus contribute better to the company’s bottom line. Increased employee engagement is one of the strongest aspects of employee motivation.
Employee engagement and employee empowerment
A few people confuse employee engagement with employee empowerment. Although the two are similar in the sense that they both bring about closer employee involvement in the organization; there is an important difference. Employee engagement is more about how close the employee feels to the organization, its management and culture. This may not involve any decision-making on the employee’s part, while employee empowerment actually empowers an employee to take defined decisions.
Engaged employees are motivated employees
When employees are more engaged with the organization, they are known to be more involved in enhancing their career goals. Since they have the feeling that management is with them all the way; they are seen to take steps that improve their career aspirations. For instance, an organization that enables employee engagement could encourage its employees to take up continuous professional education in their chosen areas of specialization.
Such employees show greater zeal in learning new things from the organization. These may not exactly be in the form of certifications, but could be about handling customers better. Or it could be about getting a permit done from the local authorities. This way, they are more engaged in the organization’s day to day work.
Engaged employees also stretch themselves at work and are seldom content with the 9 to 5 schedule. They could go on beyond the working hours, or they could take up additional tasks out of their own volition, without being asked to. They don’t fear censure, as they are always ahead in taking the lead.
What the management can do…
When an organization sets the stage for employee engagement; it can take up a few symbolic activities that could go a long way in making employees feel that they are part of the organization and that their work is being valued.
It could set one day once a month for team lunch. This may seem like an expensive idea, but it is not. The cost of the lunch is nothing compared to the benefits such a gesture will bring from the employees. Organizations can make this exercise cheap too, by working out an offer at a restaurant for regular visitors.
Management and staff eating together is one of the strongest bonding actions in an organization in which there is employee engagement. This sends out a strong message to the employees that the management is one among them and has no airs.
Having a get-together of families, even as rarely as once or twice a year; is another way of fostering employee engagement. At such meetings, the top brass can even bring up particular issues that an employee may have faced. Such occasions can also be used to announce rewards for a job well done.
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