In this article, we are going back to a topic that we discussed at length in previous postings and that was very much commented by our readers:
I’m always surprised (not to say astonished) to note that most executives theoretically acknowledge the importance of employees’ engagement to the success of their brand, and therefore their company.
Nevertheless, beyond great commitments, the yearly odd employees’ satisfaction survey, staff parties and gatherings, and a handful easy-to-implement decisions that never go very far, very little is done.
The reason might be that for employees’ engagement to succeed, companies’ executives need a lot more than great statements; they need a vision – beside the usual ‘company XYZ must be the market leader etc.’ -, and more importantly, they need to roll their sleeves and get their hands dirty by working day in and day out on a long-term plan that impacts associates’ everyday life – not the everyday life they suppose their associates have when seen from their Boardroom, but their actual everyday life.
Most executives believe that employees’ engagement is limited to the interaction with the clientele.
That’s only partially true:
Associates, almost regardless of their duties and position, deal not only with their firm’s clientele, but also with all company’s stakeholders – suppliers, contractors, business partners… just name them!
We mentioned here countless times how Google undeniable success comes from their innovative human resources vision:
Human resources and operation are one so that every single employee – and there were 57,100 of them at the end of 2015 – is treated like an individual, not as an ‘employee’.
That makes all the difference:
Mr. X is not only a security officer and Mrs. Y simply a programmer; they are Mr. X and Mrs. Y who are first and foremost parents, husband and wife, etc. with plenty of life commitments beside their job that need to be recognized and attended to (individuals), so that they can perform to the best of their abilities (employees).
Executives must themselves be committed to their company, and not only to their paycheck and dearest zone of influence / power, to achieve this level of employees’ engagement:
It’s a long and difficult path that requires executives to be devoted to the success of their brand(s) and business.
Look at major corporations most successful in employees’ engagement, besides Google, such as Microsoft, LinkedIn, FedEx and many more:
You will notice that over the past years, they all mutated from their obsolete and inefficient corporate culture – not having a corporate culture is a corporate culture, albeit a poor one – to an engaging people / corporate culture.
For instance, Microsoft went a long way from the company described in the 1995 Douglas Coupland’ book ‘Microserf ‘ to the employees’ engagement-dedicated firm that it is today.