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Unable to Keep Your Employees Engaged? Here's What You Need to Know To gain a competitive edge in changing business environment, companies are evaluating effective engagement models to keep the workforce competent

By Subhash Menon

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Creating a healthy environment and keeping employees engaged at all times has become a crucial cog in the wheel for organisations. The level of involvement expressed by an employee is known to impact attrition rates, productivity & efficiency, and overall growth numbers, at large.

To begin with, let us try to decode what constitutes as an "engaged" employee! An "engaged" employee might be perceived as someone who has aligned itself with the vision of the company and is actively advocating the same through his efforts during the course of his tenure. He/ She might be tenacious, diligent and would have no complaints because this individual is extremely happy with the culture and incentives. However this will be every recruiter's dream and is practically too good to be true!

Related: 7 Excellent Reasons to Focus on Employee Engagement

5 Ways Employee Engagement Makes Your Company More Competitive

"Employee engagement" is traversing through the new-age times to evolve into different connotations for different organisations. The increasing focus on automation is impacting the work culture at multiple organisations. Most of them are readily accepting the positive impact of the digital world as a new norm that boosts efficiency. Let's evaluate a few ways to keep employees engaged:

  1. Employee Satisfaction Through Incentives

Dedicated new-age employees' need reasons over and above a sizeable paycheck and vacation days to keep them in one organisation. Often, employee satisfaction is used interchangeably with employee engagement. It is a broad term in the human resource industry to narrate how satisfied and content employees are with respect to their jobs, their employee experience and the company they work for. The influencing factors involve compensations by the company, flexibility, workplace environment, work load, availability of resources and most importantly, the personal growth of a particular employee. Ideally, satisfaction occurs as a result of both material factors like compensation and benefits as well as intangible elements like engagement, recognition, and strong leadership.

The best measure of employee satisfaction is when the employee himself becomes the advocate of the company. Word of mouth works better than any advertisements. Employees are attracted to an organisation not only basis the company's performance but also the "exciting' activities that are attributed to the company to maintain an active and refreshing work environment.

  1. Focus On Learning & Development (Personal Growth)

Capability building of resources is the new buzz word. Learning & Development and Human Resources functions are now partnering with business pursuits to enhance employee capability. Forsaking traditional methodologies, an active participation in machine-based erudition such as E-Learning has proven to be extremely crucial in providing employees' the necessary training. Also, it acts as an efficacious tool of employee engagement. In today's business environment, organisations are in need of agile learning interventions that empower them to achieve the necessary skills set which can be deployed on a real time basis. The need to personalise learning solutions to an individual's needs for better application of the same at work, has emerged as a strong opportunity for L&D professionals to support the aforementioned demand.

  1. Leveraging Automation

The BFSI sector has increasingly become adaptable with a faster pace of innovation and is starting to incorporate the traits and practices that were once the domain of Fintech start-ups. Digitisation is becoming a prominent factor with each passing day and is becoming the core of business processes in reassessment of organisational structures. Organisations now believe that efficient work output increases with the implementation of technological advancements. This also helps the human resources department to analyse and drive the employees and organisations towards conclusive performances. Not only does it help employees streamline their work processes better but also understand the core focus of their job to set expectations and targets, accordingly. The evolution of technology has managed to facilitate a new interactive learning era. It has resulted into a transformative use of our typical discussion boards to a niche of shared knowledge. In fact, social media is a huge boost to this type of learning since it encourages employees to freely share articles, videos, blogs, and any content that will help learn, grow and succeed.

There are numerous such examples wherein technology has transformed processes. However, automation should be promoted as an aspect that enhances human touch, and not something that replaces human involvement. For instance, in the hiring process, technology has aided in creating one of the biggest databases of candidates across various platforms, however, the importance of human involvement to evaluate and assess the employee is of most importance.

  1. Re-evaluating The HR Narrative

Today, the best talent wants to work for innovative companies that offer learning opportunities and growth in order to succeed in their efforts to recruit and retain individuals who are best suited for their organisation. In the quest to keep employees "engaged" through innovative means, recruiters sometimes fail to recognize the value of smaller things. Employees are looking for informal ways to learn on the job and stay effective. For this they look up to senior employees with mature domain expertise to guide them. Companies need to look up to such employees who play the dual role of a mentor and a director. Timely interventions between the employees and managers have proven to result into better results. Such employees are natural contributors. Employees and organisations alike look for opportunities that will not only nurture their growth but will also be a value addition to their entire learning process.

  1. Driving Employee Motivation Through Trust & Thrust

The success of any business is greatly dependent on its employees. Thus, their happiness and satisfaction should be at the forefront of an organisation's objective. People who work for a company can have a huge impact on productivity, turnover, and ultimately the success of the company. Therefore, studies show that, if the employees are happy, the company will flourish as it motivates them to perform better each day. To keep your employees motivated, building trust is utmost important for an organisation. Being transparent and truthful to the employee's plays a vital role and part of being transparent also involves having the integrity and will to tell the truth, even if it puts you in the position of being the bearer for that situation. Additionally, communicating openly with the employees is a reliable way to motivate them and improve office morale. By letting the employees regulate the boundaries of communication, you give them a sense of power, belonging, comradeship and responsibility that are essential to fostering a sense of motivation. When the lines of communication are clear and the employees feel comfortable with your relationship, their motivation improves.

Lastly, respect and recognition in the workplace contribute extensively in keeping employees happy and productive. There is a direct correlation between rewards and employee happiness as it evokes not only a "feel good" sensation but has a direct influence on employee output and hard work. Rewarding the employees for their dedication and efforts towards work can never go wrong as it is rightly said that "people will always work harder when they know they are appreciated."

Subhash Menon

Chief Human Resource & Learning - Angel Broking Ltd.

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