Light up the fire in your employees heart
“Poor motivated staff costs companies billions.
… Bad tempered personnel is more often ill and
has limited added value for the boss …. If
someone is not happy it influences productivity
resulting in a downturn of business results”
according to Salem Samhoud at the Telegraph
(daily Dutch newspaper). Employers can take action on this.
Most companies developing their new modern HR-policies knowing more attention for the Human Capital is needed and becomes more crucial than ever in our evolving knowledge economy. The ability of an organization to attract talent, to develop it and to retain is becomes one of the key success factors of a company. This makes it, together with the observation above, hard to understand why Employee Engagement is not even a topic at the Dutch HR-trend research 2010-2011 of HR-consultancy group Berenschot. While engagement, more then the next cost saving or efficiency driven reorganization, can be the key:
-to bring performance of employees to a higher level.
-To really connect and retain your most valuated employees and
-to improve the chance your employees will be (active) ambassadors of your company and your brands.
Employees are of growing influence on the customer market as well as the labor market. Influencing brand reputation by the way they act and communicate. Engaging Employees is like a knife cutting at multiple edges, it helps retaining customers and employees, enlarges the attraction of the brand, improves productivity and customer satisfaction and results in sustainable better business performance.
But how do you light the ‘engagement fire’ at your staff? A lot of (HR) people do their job looking for the 3 T’s (tricks, tips and tools), and engagement is no exception on this. Resulting in the fact that engagement of employees is often linked to terms of employment, challenging work, career paths and of course all kind of incentives. Yes these tools all help, but if it is not combined with some kind of feeling of appreciation for the employees then the effect will only be marginal and short term. For a sustainable engagement of your workforce there are no quick fixes. Engagement starts with another mindset. It starts with the interest and empathy for the individual employee, with engagement with your employee. Because engagement, to connect with each other, is reciprocal. Without this connection, the 3 T’s won’t have a major impact.
Because engagement starts with connecting, it thrives with communication. Meaning you have to start and maintain a dialogue with your employees. Only from connection, engagement can start to develop and the engagement fire can take fire. For example when new employees start to join the company you can use the spark, which attracted them to your company, to light up the fire, with a sound on boarding program. An Engagement fire of meaning, inspiration, pride, warmth and fun. A fire which will be maintained by the daily brand experience of the employee at work, in the contacts with management and colleagues, doing the job, receiving appreciation, encountering challenges and chances. The way an individual employee can, and is allowed to, make the difference together with its co-workers. Then there evolves real intrinsic employee engagement with the brand and the employer. Then employees are prepared to go the extra mile for the brand and for the customer. Productivity and customer satisfaction grows and business results improves.
When the engagement fire burns then your employee
will also be prepared to spread it out, like a running flame.
They will be a brand ambassador to their friends, professional
connections and in social media. We all know the experienced
of news (especially rumors) traveling fast. Nowadays traveling
faster as ever, via the coffee corner, internal mail, lunches,
internal and external social media and all other formal and
informal meetings or connections between employees and
Communication goes fast and can be very effective. And this is not only true for rumours. Also positive communication can travel fast, as long as there is meaning in it, it is authentic, has a little bit of fun and more over if it has relevance for sender and receiver. In this way every employee can change into an ambassador. Not because we ask them to be one, but because they want it themselves. And so a small fire can grow into a big warming engagement fire with a lot of attraction and retention power. A fire where people want to be part of and want to commit to. Then real brand relationships between employer and employee will evolve, demonstrating the power of engagement in attraction, retention and increased productivity of your human capital.
Do not count the number of relationships you have,
relationships which count.
Illustration: Waldemar Post