Author of the “The Transformational Lens”, a people and performance management book and a mentor to many aspiring leaders, Yugandhar Penubolu is also the founder and CEO of Winzard Solutions Private Limited, which is a B2B Strategic HR firm. Winzard’s SaaS platform offers modules that cater to talent and performance development. Winzard also runs workshops and consults to improve workforce experience and organizational capability. Yugandhar has 20+ years of experience being associated with reputed banks, NBFCs and the broadband industry. His stints in various leadership and operational roles has made him that most of the current market tools lack sufficient focus on the method that needs to be adopted by employees and the right mentoring required in the journey of goal achievement. Hence, he established Winzard. He yearned to make people unlock their true potential with creative confidence and is convinced that a key driver for growth is empowerment.
The traditional norm of organizations being the ultimate power while workers being just people employed to carry out the firm’s processes has evolved in the present-day context. Today, the workforce is viewed as the very core of the organization and are one of the most significant factors in the success or failure of a company.
As this realization overtook the commercial landscape and authorities, in recent times, company policies were tweaked to incorporate measures to nurture and enhance the value of human resources. Keeping an employee engaged and involved in the workings and growth of an organization is a continuous process and has to be taken care of on several levels and stages by the organization. Here are five ways in which organizations can infuse active employee engagement and interest in their company’s development:
Invest in employee development
The employees of today exist in a fast-growing and changing corporate world that is infested with severe competition. Thus, there is a constant need for them to evolve and learn to get an edge over their competition and escalate in their career trajectory. To keep an employee interested, it is critical for firms to provide continuous developmental opportunities to learn and grow further. If a worker sees that they are evolving for the better in an organization, chances are they would feel motivated and would engage further in the operations, seeking higher growth. Organizations could review talent on potential, competency, fitment and past performance to identify the individual development needs and define the learning path. Such a review leading to decision making as part of the leadership strategy could do wonders for enhancing individual and organizational capability.
Incentivize ideas and initiatives
The organizations of today thrive on the ideas and initiatives of employees. A diverse set of employees brings on board a plethora of distinguished ideas that can work to drastically boost the position of the company. To capitalize on such potential initiatives, it is critical for employers to create easy and encouraging channels for communication of these ideas. Additionally, it is also important for employers to properly recognize, appreciate and incentivize these leads so as to boost employee morale and encourage more such enterprising endeavors in the future. Organizations can infuse ideation as an ongoing part of the culture by inducting a system of capturing ideas and recognizing the ones with merit. It would be even more rewarding to the employee who came up with the idea, if he or she could be part of the journey and team that works on operationalizing it.
Promote a healthy work environment
A healthy and harmonious work environment is a basic necessity for any employee to thrive. It is crucial that employers take into consideration the needs and circumstances of employees while drafting policies and ensure worker satisfaction as much as possible. It is also vital for an organization to have quick, efficient, and transparent systems of grievance redressal and feedback in place so as to maximize the comfort of individual workers and the overall growth of the organization at large. Impetus on psychological, social, and physical wellbeing will keep employees focused on performance. A workplace with adverse wellbeing can breed disengagement and lead to low productivity.
Foster good synergy and encourage strategic networking
Humans are social beings. The importance of a person’s social needs being met is even highlighted in Maslow’s need hierarchy, which is a prominent discovery in the field of psychology. For an organization to enhance engagement, it is critical for them to let the employees form social connections and networks, both formally and informally. The connections serve as a means to not only fulfill psychological needs but also enhance the communication within the workplace which in turn boosts productivity and minimizes mistakes. The Organization where the employees work as a network can communicate, process and innovate quickly. Individuals and groups need to be aware of their network strength, diversity and connectivity. A team that is high on all 3 counts can exercise better influence and build relationships that enhance collective potential. There are 3 things that can be done to build great collaboration and networking: 1) A collaborative platform that enables social networking to share and showcase learnings, ideas and wins. 2) Facilitate a network analysis that can help individuals understand their current networking composition and plan to build a strategic network and 3) Include a robust feedback culture through half yearly 360-degree feedback analysis and regular performance discussions.
Empathy is key
One cannot overlook the importance of mental wellness. Especially in the wake of a hybrid work environment, many employees have been having a hard time on both personal and professional fronts. Thus, it is critical for the workplace to be empathetic and thoughtful in their policies and rules. It is often said that an employee leaves the boss and not the organization. Organizations should encourage a culture of effective supervision that sets expectations clearly, checks-in regularly, recognizes challenges and mentors team members. Celebrating success collectively also ensures people don’t feel isolated and instead feel part of the team’s journey. At times, supervisors develop preconceived notions about certain team members which could disrupt harmony and team performance. Supervisors should also seek feedback to ensure they are aware of their management style and development needs. A lot of supervisors get surprised with the feedback that they receive but with positive intent and conscious effort their effectiveness and emotional quotient can be improved. Additionally, when an employee feels valued and belongs at his/ her workplace, the sense of purpose provides motivation to contribute and achieve success for self, to the team and to the organization.
The last decade or two have led to rigorous developments in the field of human resource management. After years of observations and study, it is understood that the productivity and success of organizations are directly linked to the wellbeing and engagement of the employees associated with them. Thus, there is a need for organizations to develop the right strategy to understand their employees and improve their capability. Companies need to keep their employees engaged and interested in the organization and its growth to be agile and keep pace with the highly transformative market landscape. Some ways in which the same can be facilitated were discussed in the scope of this article.