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Business Roundup: Employee Engagement

We occasionally report on what other experts are saying about employee engagement.  Here is this week’s round up of employee engagement articles:

How to Build Employee Engagement Using Social Media from The Recruiters Lounge

The astronomical growth of social media has created new ways for companies and candidates to connect online.  In the late seventies, the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind …used Hynek’s scale of three types of encounters: sightings; observations of UFO’s; and human observation of animate beings.  Similarly, the involvement of Human Resources with the phenomena of Social Media can best be described and summarized at three distinct levels or types of encounters: compliance; sourcing; and engagement.

The author builds up the introduction of social media into the workforce, largely based on the general public’s wide acceptance of social media as a whole.  Proposing that the traditional suggestion boxes be replaced with new enterprise platforms such as Yammer and Chatterati, it’s assumed that employees are willing to embrace these communication methods.  What’s left unsaid is that while these platforms are great for replacing the general office chit-chat, they are far from confidential and not an appropriate source for securing unfiltered feedback.

Social media solutions may be an option for some companies, but it will never be embraced by every employee.  Time constraints, confidentiality concerns, and lack of confidence to voice a public opinion will always hamper company-wide adoption.  Forcing employees to adopt these platforms may have an adverse effect, as employees chafe at what they see as an intrusion or waste of time.

Make the Job a Game from Harvard Business Review

“The fact is that most working people can be highly enthusiastic about all sorts of things in their lives yet go to work with no sense of enthusiasm or fun.  People love to play, but work for the most part isn’t much fun.”

This article, while never quite living up to its title, offers many solutions to keep employees out of the day-in and day-out doldrums.  It’s mentioned that most of us enjoy past-times with a short time span, such as a sporting event or video game.  But in the work environment, most tasks are drawn out so long that instead of enjoying the outcome, you’re left relieved that it’s over.

The author shows that, given tight deadlines with actionable goals, employees will actually establish a sense of camaraderie.  They’ll work together to meet deadlines and to make their jobs easier.  Also cited are examples of employees finding better solutions for a problem than anyone in the C-Suite.  The employees are on the front line and know what works and what doesn’t – trust them.

Both articles presented solutions, but not every solution is the right fit for every company.  Establishing tight deadlines may lead to your employees banding together, or it could lead to a mutiny.  As a leader within your company, you must find out what your employees desire, what they want, what they need to do their job, what works and what doesn’t.  The recommended approach to discover what your workforce needs is to simply ask them by deploying an employee engagement survey to establish baseline scores.  Then, resurvey periodically to gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives. Contact us now to get started.

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