For Employers: High Impact Initiatives to Engage Employees
In addition to focusing on key drivers of engagement, pivotal leading practices implemented by Best Employers that organisations can leverage to actively engage their employees include:
1. Develop Effective People Managers
Designing the right “people programmes” is only part of an overall solution to improving engagement. Long-term success rests on having effective managers who have the accountability, skills, and incentives to engage their teams. To holistically develop effective people managers, we recommend:
i) Designing the role of line managers to include people management and establishing related goals. Goals on engaging, developing, and retaining employees must be linked to meaningful rewards and recognition.
ii) Creating long-term development programmes for line managers that cover core competencies essential to being effective managers. Link these to career development and succession planning programmes. Effective people management has to be recognised as an important criterion when evaluating people for promotions.
iii) Giving proper recognition to managers who have excelled in enhancing engagement and actively championed an engagement culture.
2. Define and Deliver a Unique and Compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
Best employers ensure that a strong EVP is clearly communicated and internally marketed, so that employees understand and appreciate the overall work experience being offered to them.
Understand the company’s key attributes from the employees’ perspective, and embark on promoting the EVP. Get employees to share their personal stories on how they relate to the company’s brand and what is unique about working at the organisation.
3. Tailor Talent Management Practices to Engage Specific Employee Groups and Demographics
Factors beyond economic and geographic conditions can influence employee engagement. As such, understand the different values that specific employee groups place on individual factors. This allows you to identify critical gaps and how best to invest your resources.
If you are tailoring people programmes by job level, start by having high engagement as part of the business goals. Next, set up a detailed and clear process to ensure accountability for senior leadership, managers and executives.
For Employees: How to Make Engagement Happen for You?
Engagement has been such an organisation-centric concept that sometimes, we lose track of what it means to employees at the individual level. As employees, we do not set out to be disengaged, but neither are we actively engaged without any good reasons.
How do we join the league of the highly engaged group?
Here are ways to work on in increasing the engagement barometer:
1. Talk to Your Manager
If you envision yourself achieving your career goals in five years, chances are you will not reach them alone. Development involves getting constant performance feedback, positive reinforcements, and having someone understand your journey and support you along the way.
Share with your superior your career plans, leverage on his/her insight to identify potential development areas and personal key strengths, and work with him/her to close the gaps. Building a relationship of openness and trust with your superior is the first step towards realising your plans.
2. Recount What Makes You Want Your Job
Take a moment to reflect on the most treasured elements in your current role. Is it the friendships you have fostered with your colleagues? Is it the wisdom that comes from having overcome challenges? Or is it seemingly endless possibilities in taking your career to a higher level?
Knowing what makes you happy on your job is the first step towards identifying your personal drivers towards engagement.
3. Be Honest and Constructive
Have a hand in building engagement by providing your most valuable tool – your honest, constructive views on what works best for you. Honest views that are helpful towards carving meaningful engagement initiatives will target solutions at the right focus areas, creating immediate impact, and a win-win situation for all.
Ji-Hao is a senior consultant in Aon Hewitt’s Talent & Engagement Practice and also the country project manager of the Best Employers Malaysia 2015 Program. Mei Ling is a senior consultant in Aon Hewitt’s Talent & Engagement Practice and part of the Best Employers Consulting Team. Send us your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on engagement initiatives for your employees and for your organisation, contact email@example.com to learn about the Leaderonomics Center for Engagement Excellence