Monday, July 19, 2010

A new strategy for employee engagement

The weakness of the economic recovery has real implications for the workforce -- and for HR executives charged with maximizing worker engagement and productivity. Do the typical initiatives to increase employee engagement work in this environment?

Aggressive head count reductions have interrupted talent strategies at many top companies. As smart employers strengthen the value proposition and focus on engagement (anything to increase engagement is a good thing), others are losing valuable contributors and dropping the ball on important training and staff-development programs.

There is a better way:

Beware the scourge of overwork. The average "job footprint" has increased by 1/3 in the recession, with the reward being frozen pay and shrinking perks. While so far workers have felt lucky to keep their jobs, workers who claim to be "disengaged" has doubled to 20% -- "engagement" as a vital source of innovation and creativity is evaporating.

Address emotional as well as economic needs. In The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations that Win, Dave and Wendy Ulrich focus on a notion of "abundance" and suggest a list of seven questions for leaders to ask:

Who am I?
Where am I going?
Whom do I travel with?
How do I build a positive work environment?
What challenges interest me?
How do I change, learn and grow?
What delights me?

While these questions seem unrelated to the bottom line, the answers can provide a powerful catalyst to engagement - and customer satisfaction and profitability.

Broad-based employment gains from entry-level positions to senior management are coming… are you ready?

Read the full story from HRE Online.

No comments: