Saturday, January 26, 2013

Employee Engagement -VI

Do you have employee development strategy?
Own development is one of the vital
drive for employees in Engagement .
One of the friends shared his experience when he was working with HUL. He almost worked 8 years in HUL. When I asked him the reason for staying in the company for long period in the era where people spend hardly two years in the organization, he told me that company invested on his training & development. “Vinod, I was attending average two trainings in a year. This was the motivation for me. Company’s genuine intention to develop their employees encourages me to stay in HUL. One after another it was the inspiration for me. I didn’t realize how many years I spent in HUL.”
What does it means?   
Employee Engagement is viewed isolated activity. In fact, you can’t separate employee engagement from your whole talent management practices. In every HR process, you have the scope in engaging your employee. Company should have the right development strategy. Most of the companies take their training target in man-days. HR professionals just organize training to complete man-days without focusing on development and results. Some companies even do not have their budget for training.
Employees grow in an environment where people have opportunities to learn, grow professionally, and develop skills that lead to advancement and career growth.
To have the proper level of engagement organization must invest some time and money in training managers at all levels to think this way, delegate more responsibility and do it skillfully, give frequent skillful performance feedback, coach people through mistakes (rather than blaming & shaming), confront in a caring, concerned manner when performance does not meet expectations or behavior is unacceptable and get a commitment for change, follow-up to assure the change occurs and reward it with recognition and gratitude when it does occur or confront again if it does not occur, agree upon what will happen and the consequences if it does not. Managers need to develop relationships with each employee to learn each person's values, goals, and passions and assimilate this in development strategy.
To do this all, you should have the proper agenda of Learning & Development. Companies have their target of training man-days, but they do not assign the budget to this process. They have internal trainers and train employees on technical skills internally. But when it comes in real employee development, there are budget cuts.
You need to focus not only the skill enhancement training, but overall development of employees. If you have anything to enhance, enhance their personality to take more responsibilities.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Employee Engagement -V

Are commitment and employee satisfaction same?

When we speak about Employee Engagement, we always discuss about Commitment.
Commitment can be viewed in two ways. 
a)     Commitment of the person to his job
b)    Commitment of the person to his organization.
There are many professionals who say that they are committed to their job and profession. Whenever they are in the organization, they would give the justice to their job. They would definitely add the value to the organization. However commitment to the job comes when they are satisfied with their job. If the person who is MBA and you put him in clerical job, he may not be satisfied with his job and hence he would also not be committed to his job. Commitment comes when employee is satisfied with the job given. But there is a catch line. You can’t say that once the person is satisfied always he will be satisfied and thereon committed.
If you add new person in the team with same competencies to do the same job and you pay him more salary than the existing satisfied and committed person, the existing person will become dissatisfied once he comes to know the salary of new person. In spite of doing good job and being good professional his commitment may go down. It is philosophically right to say that job contents are more important to make the person satisfied, but when it comes to the comparison to the other person, the common human tendency is to loose the interest in the job.
Job satisfaction is crucial in commitment to the organization, but you also need to take care of other factors. It is like creating psychological connection of the person to the organization. While leaving the organization, majority of people don’t blame the organization in totality. They blame either manager or culture or HR practices in the organization. At the end of the day it means that we people are responsible for creating all above three factors.
Are employee satisfaction and job satisfaction same?         
Employee satisfaction may be the result of job satisfaction. If person is satisfied with the job and not satisfied with the culture, manager, his compensation, his seating place, he may not be satisfied as the person. Job satisfaction is one of the attribute in measuring employee engagement. Even satisfied employee may not necessarily be engaged.      
Take the example of the person who is new in the organization and working as the Sr. Manager in his previous organization. When you finalize the offer you give him the title of AGM. He is happy to know that he is AGM. But when he joins the organization, he comes to know that there are so many AGMs in the organization, even junior to him are designated as DGMs and actually these titles doesn’t matter much as finally everything decided here by GM, he gets disconnected the whole organization. He gets dissatisfied though his job is challenging to him.    
Hence employee may get the job satisfaction through his job, but surrounding makes him dissatisfied as an employee and his commitment to the job goes down.  
When you see the satisfaction of employee, you need to take a holistic approach.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Employee Engagement- IV

Every company should ask questions why people will stay with your company. If you make the job more meaningful, the probability of their staying is more, but it should be complemented with other factors as well.
The website name ‘what keeps you?” is conducting ongoing research on the factors due to which employee stay in the organization. According the research top six factors are:
1.      Exciting, challenging or meaningful work,
2.      Supportive management and good boss,
3.      Being Recognized, valued and respected,
4.      Career growth, learning and development,
5.      Flexible work environment,
6.      Fair pay
Surprising the “fair pay” is at 6th number and highly rated is “exciting, challenging and meaningful work.”
There are lot of research where the findings more moreover same.
Culture ( plays important role here. Most of the time, top management says that their culture is open and transparent, but actually the case is different.
Vital factor is how you make your team collaborative and accountable for their performance. People perceive collaboration as important attribute where they make the work exciting and challenging. It is organizational job to provide the environment and culture that enhances collaboration, cooperation, and encouragement between all organizational members.
You can assess the environment just by looking stepping into the organization. Your security guard is the first person who creates the impression of the culture. Sometimes you get the dull feeling, sometimes, vibrant and sometimes tense.
In our organization, we have lot of visitors, customers, auditors and during the opening meeting with them; they first mention their positive experience with the security people. While explaining the safety rules to visitors, our security guards show the passion and this passion brings the excitement in their job.     
This does not come within a day.
Organization also means supervisors and managers of employees show the interest in employee wellbeing (not only welfare), develop them, give proper feedback, enrich their job, demand more, stretch targets, support and reward at right time make employee’s job more challenging, meaningful and exciting.
(To be continued….)    

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Employee Engagement- III

Make the job more meaningful…

Is there any injection of motivation and engaging employee in the organization? How would you create the passion? How would influence their passion towards right steps?
Employees generally like the job if it is meaningful. The question is how you would make their job more meaningful. Employee perceives the organization’s larger purpose through their contribution in the organization. They see the value in products produced or services offered.
There is a company which manufactures some parts which is actually used in tanks; the tanks, which are used by Indian army. One of the parts is round ring which is a vital part of the tank. Without this part, the firing from the tank is not possible. Making this ring involves precision and workmen working who are making the part require to do lot of machining job. Workmen working in the organization are skilled and they know how to make the quality product.
However the job is monotonous. The culture in the organization is typical like in old organizations. Workmen are senior and working from the date of joining. Sometimes if there is no change it also brings frustrations. The stress of the job and lot of work brings this frustration at home. Workmen have limited wages and have to manage their life with all they earned. Combination of all this creates turmoil at family level also.
This story is of one of the workmen, name Shantaram. Shantaram is the workman who works for 8-9 hours on machine and doing machining of specific ring. However he does not know where that rings produced by him go.
One of the young engineers, Shantanu joins the organization as production engineer. Normally workmen don’t respect the young engineers. They just do what they want and specified as per the job. This is a real challenge to all young engineers working in unionized organizations. After few days trouble between Shantaram and Shantanu on the quality issue, one day Shantanu asks Shantaram, “Shantaramji, do you know where this part which you make goes?”
“What are you asking me this? I send it to next assembly line.” Shantaram replied.
“I know this uncle. But do you know at the end where this part goes and what is the function of this ring?” On this question, Shantaram got confused. “I don’t know. Somebody told us that this part goes in tank, but they never told what the function of this ring is.”
“Shantaramji, the ring which is machined by you is critical part of the next assembly line where bearings are fixed. The whole ring with bearings is fixed in the tank. If you don’t do the machining well, our soldiers will not be able to fire on enemies.” Shantanu explains in simple language.
“Is it so? I never thought that I am making a critical job. Nobody told me this in past. Thank you sir.”
Shantaram was so enlightened to understand the explanation about ring he use to made that he called his helpers and other colleagues and told the same story.
When he went home, he called his children and wife and told them the whole story. “Do you know what I made in the company? I do the machining of the ring which goes in tank and you know these tanks are used by our Indian Army. If I don’t do the machining as per the standards, it will not work and our soldiers will be in trouble.”
Shantanu helped Shantaram to make his job more meaningful. He showed the real big picture and highlighted his contribution in the organization and nation.
(To be continued...)

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