Someone wasn’t at a conference lately and didn’t use the latest trend word ’employee engagement’? I think you feel pretty fed up thinking about it, as I do. How does it say and why is it such a major problem?
Employee participation involves encouraging the workers to be excited about the job they are doing (and so the idea goes) and therefore to be more efficient. Employee happiness rates are at an all-time low owing primarily to the financial crisis and economic contraction that followed. People doubt their dedication to work, especially at the detriment of personal interests such as health and the family. And graduates of course mention work-life balance as a primary criteria in choosing their future employers. Have a look at Tom Rollins book for more info on this.
The solution is not another offsite, or a day of golf. Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc, gave a common solution at last week’s lecture at the London Business School: Corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility. Not the kind that resides apart from the rest of the company, but instead the corporate philanthropy that is embedded into the organization’s ethos and structure, and where workers feel committed as a consequence of making their company a safer place for the planet.
We’re not thinking of a whimsical democratic paradigm. Note, Stephen Green is Chairman of a corporate bank-he doesn’t say companies can be managed as charities. In the opposite, companies ought to follow effective market management practices: define their strategic edge, offer goods and services that satisfy their consumers ‘expectations, and produce income as a consequence of a successful business performance. (Note that income is the product of a well-run company, not the justification for its existence.) Today’s social and economic climate is far more complicated than in the days of Milton Friedman, when businesses were supposed to rely exclusively on income. Benefit doesn’t suffice. Shareholders, workers, states, families are demanding corporations to bring value now as part of the larger society they work within. Organizations continue to learn of corporate social obligations creatively. Where will he base his attention on the company? Where does it use its capital more efficiently where advantages can be achieved from both sides?
When you want your workers to be committed, be transparent on the importance that the company provides to the societies in which it exists, and include staff as frequently as possible personally in these activities. The consequence undoubtedly would be staff taking new thoughts and insights back to the workplace. It is also possible that your recruiting activities would benefit not just from increased interest from students, but also from women seeking fulfilment outside financial compensation, especially when juggling profession and family.