Any sort of engagement initiative needs to be authentic as opposed to manipulative and have the goal of creating a win-win outcome for all shareholders.
Every organization declares people are the most invaluable asset. However, statistically, about 70% of employees are not engaged in their work, It becomes the very challenge for talent managers to overcome, and to dig to the BIG WHY, what are the principles and practices to manage today's multi-generational, multicultural and multi-devicing digital workforce, and is employee engagement only about productivity?
It all depends on the workplace culture. There will be better results if it's a place where people look forward to coming to work, know that they are appreciated, have work that interests and challenges them and are trusted. So shifting a team's focus to bigger picture objectives is key and that managers are the owners of this messaging. But to do so effectively requires an identification and clearing of current roadblocks that have so far hindered their engagement. Leadership is about people - you can't lead numbers or dollars. Consequently, psychology, sociology, and philosophy can inform senior executives, managers, and supervisors. That being said, multidisciplinarity must be applied within the context of the values of the organization. Just because an assessment is a valid and reliable means of some of what drives human behaviors doesn't mean it fits within an organization's culture or even should.
Employee engagement is important to drive competitive advantage: It’s about employees "willing to give discretionary effort, wants to stay, and is always looking for ways to improve individual and team performance." If you want your employees to be engaged - you want to define that - you're going to first need to acknowledge the skepticism, truly understand it, and at least attempt to do something about it. The employee benefits by increasing revenue and becoming more competitive. The same thing applies to increasing performance, an issue totally separate from engagement. The employer's revenue benefits when performance improves and the employee benefits because becoming a better performer makes the employee more marketable.
Yes, employee engagement is about productivity. Employees become engaged and maintain a level of engagement as an outcome for a variety of reasons. Two that readily spring to mind is that humans do have self-interest, and we are also interested in others. How well these interests are satisfied in the workplace does affect productivity. This does not mean they should be met in the same way they are in other circumstances. How we express interest in ourselves and others is contextual. Those who elicit the high performance from others understand productivity is the outcome of how you engage an employee or a group of employees. And it is how they engage each other. There must be some compelling reason of personal interest for a person to go to work, and there must be reasons for staying and delivering high productivity. The greater the number of reasons, and the more important the reasons are, the higher the drive is for the employee to perform in a way that leaders, management and peers value. So why not take a balanced approach, one that is based on maximal mutual benefit, respect, and empathy? Why not concentrate on building competencies for the individuals’ benefit first; they will ultimately spill these competencies for benefit of others, willingly or not. A flower does not spread its incense for the benefit of the bees.
Governance is at the heart of this topic. And who is better to lead the way for others to follow if not HR. Firstly, look at what governance structure you have in place that supports engagement and innovation, which in turn will lead to agile operating practices. Consideration also must be given to the difference between "cost" and "investment. Professional development that is really needed is an investment and they must consider the cost of NOT doing the training as well. The best training is participatory, involving and support must be given for the changes coming out of that experience. For innovation, consideration must be given to the different types of thinking styles for decision-making and problem-solving and cooperation of the team to work together. It may sound complex, it’s all about solving the employee engagement puzzle via digging into mind level.
Leveraging the effective technology to engage employees: A technological point of view that the amount, sensitivity, and capability of the available tools for engaging people is improving steadily. There is ever greater ability to create engagement around very specific goals, such as employee retention, talent acquisition, benefits administration, wellness, or multi-generational workforce facilitation. For technologists, "engage" seems to mean to capture end users' attention and then present various things to make sure the end user is getting maximum benefit from the content and application. An aspect of this approach is that we often truly believe we are presenting a benefit to the end user if only we can learn a bit more about the user in order to personalize the message. We expect that greater personalization leads to better understanding and application in real life. Plus, the ability for people to self-assess in well-built hybrid working environments, and for early "warning signs" to be identified across the board - opens many doors for pre-emptive and prescribed interventions.
Is employee engagement only about productivity? It is sort of a trick question, it is an attempt to tease out what is core to any business and organization - productivity, but productivity itself is affected by a myriad of factors. There are many different views of employee engagement. The very goals are to well align corporate goals with employees’ career goals, encourage talent growth, create synergy by putting the right talent in the right position, invite employees to brainstorm and contribute to either strategy or innovation, and explore the best practices and next practices for building an engaged and high performing digital workforce. Any sort of engagement initiative needs to be authentic as opposed to manipulative and have the goal of creating a win-win outcome for customers, employees, managers, shareholders and society at large.