What It Is
It is widely understood that there is a basic human need to contribute to something greater than the individual, and for many they look to their work to fulfil that need. But the traditional approach to people management has failed to acknowledge this, instead assuming that what is agreed in the employment contract – where the employee agrees to provide a list of activities and the employer agrees to pay them a suitable wage in return – is all that needs to be adhered to. Thus, employee engagement for too long has been seen as a ‘nice to have’, it is poorly conceived and executed, and can paradoxically bring morale down even lower.
There are several steps that need to be followed to create employee engagement. You need a hiring process that engages them through the creation of sensible and accurate representations of the role they would play and the expectations of delivery, as well as beginning to build a relationship of trust with both the line manager and the organisation. Then the on-boarding process must carry this on so that the person feels part of the company and its future before they have even stepped foot in the door. Ongoing, line manager-led coaching and mentoring is critical for establishing a strong and meaningful relationship between employer and employee, making the individual feel valued on a consistent basis and supported to work to their strengths, providing a safe to fail environment where new ideas are encouraged, and self-empowerment is nurtured. Their value should also be recognised at a corporate or organisational level, where it is made clear how their individual activities have led to success for the company. This is essential for creating stronger engagement; if the individual can trace through from their own role to what that means for the company, they are able to see their own worth to the organisation and from that, can see if the organisation also recognises that contribution. Combined, these steps create a culture that embraces true employee engagement.
Ways I Can Help
- I can consult on alternative models for your organisation, that help demonstrate your commitment to a people-focused strategy. Once agreed, I can define the implications for the rest of your people management processes and discuss with relevant stakeholders the key features to ensure full acceptance of the change in strategy. And I can support you in the publication of the new approach in order to attract a wider range of candidates.
- I can run a pilot (starting from individual hires to teams/hires of up to 20 people) which runs through the new approach and provides proof of concepts for the solution agreed upon.
- After a successful pilot, I am able to drive the implementation of the new strategy across the organisation, using my established consultancy partners whilst retaining oversight and quality assurance to ensure the implementation matches the agreed model.
- If the changes are to be made using internal teams, full training can be provided, along with coaching for key process owners and relevant operational teams. Workshops (of up to 20 people) can be designed to take them through the new processes and reconfirm the commitment to a new cultural approach towards engaging people for your organisation.