Genuine Employee Engagement = Office & Beyond...
“What is true workplace engagement?” This is a hot potato for many A-list companies. An even bigger issue that confronts most organizations is ensuring this engagement drives workforce productivity. Simply put, true workplace engagement is a phenomenon via which an employee is enthused enough through, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (mostly, in that order) to further an organization’s interests.
It is a well known fact that companies spend millions of dollars each year, to ensure engagement, assuming it will result in positive benefits for the organization. Most of them though, are drilling a square peg in a round hole. Engaging employees positively, is as much a function of mapping their external environments, as it is about understanding their workplace priorities. Employees bring themselves to the organization, not just an isolated part of themselves. Why then, do we seek to center engagement efforts directed to only one part, and not the whole? Logical argument, right? Restricting engagement efforts to the workplace alone, is like serving up a hoagie without the meat – unsatisfying, pointless and likely to be junked.
Today’s customer demands a unified experience across all sales channels – desktop, mobile and physical, only to cite a few. Engaging via any one simply won’t cut the mustard. It’s exactly the same analogy.
Quantitative data clearly suggests that employee engagement is at all time lows, especially among middle managers. These are the guys who are increasingly striving to “disengage” their work from personal lives. An employee of a large IT firm summed it up perfectly – “we’re all living in our own bubbles in office.” Think about it. Is it so difficult for HR managers to be sensitive to the fact that some employees may hate late evening meetings, simply to have a better commute back home? Again, a very basic question, yet you’ll be surprised how often it goes unnoticed, even in the best of companies. Many employees we spoke to expressed a desire to be able to complement their casual out-of-office lifestyle (at least occasionally) with their in office rigorous environments. This is only natural, given the fact that over 80% of an employee’s productive time is spent at the workplace.
Understanding the employee as a whole needn’t be an arduous task. Dovetailing internal and external environments to engage employees, including the softer elements, has higher odds of ensuring satisfaction. Else, as they say, sooner rather than later, “Elvis will leave the building!”