In this article we will approach a very fashionable topic in the world of the Human Resources: the engagement or commitment of the employee with the company and his work. We will see what it is and how to improve it.
What determines an employee’s engagement?
An employee who is engaged to his or her company generally recognizes three key points:
- They feel that their work has a clear objective within the context of the company
- They feel that their work also helps them to grow personally
- They feel that their work has an impact on others and on the company as a whole.
If we look at it, the commitment or engagement of the employee does not imply either their satisfaction or their happiness. They are part of it, but we focus on their motivation at work.
We, from the Human Resources department, can encourage the motivation of an employee in many ways. Let’s see which ones.
The importance of having a purpose
When we work or do something, anything, we do it better and more willingly if we know why and what we are doing it for.
And since we spend about 40% of our time at work, being clear about our purpose is fundamental to moving forward.
So in the context of a company it is essential that all employees know what their role and purpose is, and that these roles and purposes are broad enough for you to feel comfortable in them.
How do we show the purpose to an employee?
As team leaders, there are several ways to communicate purpose to our employees:
- We must communicate how daily and routine tasks serve the company’s X (broader) purpose.
- We must show them how their work contributes to and benefits others
- We should try to make the contribution goals more important than the achievement goals, so as to increase their affinity with the work of others.
When you are able to communicate to the worker what your purpose is and what impact the work has, the worker has a basis to hold on to to make sense of what he or she does every day. And, in addition, they can clearly align themselves with the company’s expectations.
Working in a psychologically safe environment
No one likes working in a company where there is a lot of anger or bad tone from supervisors. It is important to make our employees feel comfortable and not afraid of possible punishment. It may sound very “high school”, but it is true that many companies operate on negative logics of failure and punishment, rather than expansive logics of goals and rewards.
Psychological safety is achieved by treating employees well, but not only that. Sincerity and openness are fundamental as well. You have to be willing to accept a failure and to assume it, but this implies that the system is not too hard. If there is clear communication, in the face of inconveniences the team can row in the same direction and solve problems without entering into disputes.
Having psychological security is a basic element to improve the engagement of our employees.
Flexibility always increases commitment
Several surveys conducted in recent years show, overwhelmingly, how workers prefer a flexible to a rigid working day.
This type of timetable, where the worker can come and go as he or she pleases, is usually a sign of confidence. If we have the psychological aspect, the purpose and the function of our worker well tied up, giving them freedom of time and execution will improve their engagement with the company: they will not feel tied up, but “lconnected”, a much closer and constructive feeling.
The importance of personal development and career
Recent surveys also show, overwhelmingly, that the most committed employees to the company are those who see their job as an opportunity for development.
This development can take place through new job opportunities within the company itself, by financing the training of employees in new fields or by making clear what the possibilities for future promotion are.
A committed employee feels that he can evolve and improve beyond their possibilities. Promoting that possibility is key to improving their engagement.
Always increases the degree of inclusion of the employees
Inclusion measures the extent to which an employee is valued and respected within the company. Issues such as gender identity, the person’s origin and other sensitive components that need to be cared for come into play in this area.
As we mentioned before, an employee who is well integrated and receives positive encouragement will be a more confident and productive employee.
We must, for our part, promote equality between men and women or ethnic origins. As well as focusing on the people we see as having the most difficulty integrating into the group (and feeling comfortable in it).
A fair recognition
As we saw in the previous article on employee recognition, this point is essential to keep them happy and psychologically stable and confident.
Developing an employee recognition program is critical to rewarding employees who meet their goals (or beyond) in a fair and equitable manner.
Recognizing employees, telling them what they do well and establishing a reward ladder helps to clearly increase their commitment and greatly reduces turnover in our company.
We have reviewed the basics that the human resources department must take into account to improve the commitment of its employees.
We see that the keys always have to do with an equitable and fair treatment, where the objectives are clear and are rewarded, and where the worker feels safe and with possibilities to evolve.
It is not easy to comply with all of them, but having them in the orbit will be essential to have happier and more productive employees.