Employees who feel valued and engaged by their role and managers, are not only happier but much more able and motivated to succeed for themselves, their business, their managers and their colleagues. This means that Employee Engagement is mutually beneficial to all involved and is more than worth the effort it requires. At the core of all Employee Engagement programmes is employee value, respect, motivation and positive people management.
Chizoba Mojekwu, a Talent Agenda Series conference speaker and the previous HR Director at the Central Bank of Nigeria, shares her wealth of knowledge and experience on this topic with Talent Matters.
What does the term Employee Engagement mean to you? And why is it so important to a business’s success?
Engaged employees are employees that are fully subscribed to the organisation and will push for the organisation’s success. They will gladly find and do what needs to be done to drive the success of the organisation. It shows in their dealing with customers and stakeholders. They will give that discretionary effort required to achieve results. Engaged employees have more than a transactional relationship with the organisation.
Organisational success depends on people doing what needs to be done and more. As organisations set goals, the quality of the goals and attainment of the goals requires commitment and aligned execution of activities. This requires employees who are willing to work together to anticipate and resolve problems and keep an eye on the bottom-line.
Do you think trust in leadership is the most crucial factor in Employee Engagement?
Trust is the bedrock of every relationship. Employees must trust that leadership means what it says and says what it means. Leadership must be as engaged as the employees that they want engaged. Do the leaders believe in the mission and vision of the organisation? Are they vested emotionally and spiritually in the organisation? Are they willing to make the sacrifices required to move the organisation forward? Leaders cannot ask of people what they cannot give. People believe and trust, so they follow. It is the glue that binds leaders with their followers.
Respect, fairness, equity, credibility, and integrity are critical elements of trust. Respect: Know and treat each individual as a person, not a means to an end. This shows in appreciation, care, attention, and communication between leaders and followers.
Fairness and equity: Balanced treatment. Listen, understand and apply a decision that is seen as fair by all.
Integrity and credibility: consistency in thought, words, and action. No hidden agenda and seen as honest. Without trust, a leader cannot inspire, model and encourage the right behaviours in followers.
When creating an Employee Engagement strategy, what are the issues and pitfalls that people need to avoid?
Employee engagement is not an event or series of events. It is a way of life. In the interaction of people within the organisation and how they also interact externally with customers and stakeholders. It must be aligned and woven into the fabric of the culture of the organisation. This cannot conflict with the brand and the leadership brand. Organisations should not “do” employee engagement. It must be consistent with how we hire, develop and reward people in the organisation.
What is the best method of measuring Employee Engagement?
I do not think there is one best method of measuring employee engagement. Employee surveys, customer surveys, leadership surveys, 360-feedback, culture surveys, good and bad reviews from social media or websites dedicated to good, repeat business etc are combinations that provide insight into how engaged the workforce is. Using only one method or parameter does not give a full view of what is going on.
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