Hey readers! I am Pavan. I have a mix of experience working for companies of different sizes but my passion has always been about people, emotions, culture, and relations/ bonding.
So here's people engagement from my thoughts, perspectives and stories.
Defining people engagement: Prioritizing employee commitment and advocacy 📃
People engagement, referred to by various names and implemented in different forms by HR practitioners, plays a crucial role in fostering a thriving company culture.
The approach to people engagement may vary among HR professionals, with some focusing solely on organizing activities, while others aim to build connections and establish trust. As an HR professional, I fall into the latter category, striving to ensure that employees are committed, involved, and encouraged to unleash their creativity.
Engaged employees not only contribute their skills and efforts but also become advocates for the company.
A story close to heart 💛
In one of my previous organizations, we had the tradition of celebrating colleagues' wedding anniversaries. Instead of relying solely on automated email reminders, all employees—ranging from directors to associates—come together to sign a card and present it as a gift. This practice extended across different offices, reinforcing a sense of unity.
On one occasion, an employee was working onsite in a foreign country, away from the rest of the team. Despite the geographical distance, the other employees managed to collect all 250 signatures on a card and delivered it to the employee, with the company covering the postage expenses.
This small gesture speaks volumes about the power of ingrained culture and its daily practice. It is through such moments that the strength of an organization's culture truly shines. Just drafting a culture playbook won’t make the cut. It should be practiced every day.
Measuring effectiveness and employee satisfaction 💪
While many companies rely on productivity matrices that incorporate factors like absenteeism, performance, deliverables, and working hours, I prefer a holistic approach using the Johari window model. Additionally, conducting surveys once or twice a year, employing the Employee Net Promoter Score, and engaging in 360-degree meetings can provide valuable insights.
Other metrics worth considering include turnover ratios and new hire failure ratios. While employee retention alone does not directly indicate satisfaction, analyzing the reasons behind employee departures, the duration of their employment, and identifying issues related to culture, growth, or management can offer valuable insights.
However, taking action based on survey results is vital to maintaining employee trust. The frequency of surveys is less important than the commitment to addressing concerns raised by employees.
Culture's role in people engagement 🤝
When employees can easily connect with and embrace a company's culture, it fosters a positive environment. On the contrary, a toxic or negative culture can demotivate even the most enthusiastic employees.
By nurturing and maintaining a healthy culture, organizations can transform non-cooperative individuals into active participants, thus ensuring people engagement thrives.
Aligning employee and company goals 🎯
Ensuring employees are aligned with both their personal goals and the company's objectives is a strong indicator of their engagement.
In non-startup environments, associates and managers often prioritize individual growth, appraisals, and feedback from supervisors. In such cases, it becomes the responsibility of managers and HR professionals to periodically remind employees about the organization's goals across all levels.
Various activities, such as town hall meetings and quizzes, can facilitate effective communication and help employees internalize the company's goals on a regular basis. The goal is to find creative ways to foster a sense of ownership and commitment among employees.
Boosting engagement through benefits and perks 💰
Determining the types of employee benefits and perks that enhance people engagement requires agility and adaptability.
At FluentGrid, we offer a range of standard benefits alongside both monetary and non-monetary incentives. These include health and accident insurance, allowances for learning and development, tax-saving benefits, flexible working arrangements, hybrid work options, onboarding kits, subsidized transportation, and complimentary meals.
However, it is essential to tailor the benefits to the specific needs and preferences of employees and the organization.
In my opinion, one of the most effective ways to motivate and retain talent is by offering Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).
The future of HR: embracing technology and evolving trends 📈
The future of HR lies in embracing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), ChatGPT, and machine learning (ML).
Many HR professionals are already leveraging ChatGPT, and personally, I have incorporated ML into my work. For instance, a colleague and I developed an attrition alarm system that analyzes factors such as absenteeism, productivity, and working hours to predict potential employee turnover—it was incredible.
However, for such transformations to succeed, both the organization and its employees must adapt and embrace the changes. It is crucial to ensure alignment between employee expectations and organizational support.
Future of HR in people engagement
- Post-COVID shifts: remote work and agility
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work and agile practices, which have now taken the forefront in the HR landscape. These approaches offer numerous opportunities and cost-saving benefits. As a result, it is imperative for HR professionals to familiarize themselves with hybrid work structures, as they are likely to become the norm in India.
- DEI and mental health: A long journey ahead
While Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and mental health initiatives are gaining traction in Indian companies, there is still a long way to go. It is essential to prioritize creating inclusive environments that address diverse needs and support employee well-being. HR professionals play a critical role in driving these efforts and fostering a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture.
The importance of 1-on-1 conversations in people engagement 👂
While chatbots and automation can facilitate 1-on-1 conversations to some extent, human interaction remains invaluable when it comes to addressing emotions and building trust.
Verbal and non-verbal cues, such as voice, intonation patterns, and body language, greatly impact the effectiveness of communication. Therefore, 1-on-1 conversations continue to play a vital role in establishing transparency, understanding individual needs, and nurturing meaningful connections with employees.
Cheers to more actively engaged employees 🍻
People engagement is a priority for any company aiming to cultivate a thriving organizational culture. By prioritizing employee commitment, advocacy, and satisfaction, HR professionals can foster a positive work environment where employees feel valued, connected, and motivated to contribute their best.
Embracing emerging technologies, adapting to remote work trends, and championing DEI and mental health initiatives are key elements for HR professionals to navigate the future successfully. Ultimately, by placing people at the heart of their strategies, HR professionals can create workplaces where individuals thrive, leading to organizational success.