In this race to grow and enhance brand equity, sometimes, organisations tend to overlook the fact that an organisation is nothing but a group of people and individuals.
“51% of workers are looking to leave their current jobs”
“Only 13% of employees are engaged worldwide”
“42% of employees feel that their leadership does not contribute to a positive company culture”
These are some alarming Employee Engagement Statistics for 2017 as per the article written by OfficeVibe based on various reports from reputed sources like Gallup, BusinessSolver.com, BenefitNews.com and others.
In this age of the highly competitive world, organisations constantly compete to get a share of valuable customers and prove their strength by booking higher profits year after year.
Goals and targets set by the leadership eventually become goals for individuals to work on. Contribution on an individual level determines the true growth of any successful organisation.
Traditional goal setting might be capable of setting goals along with timelines. But most of time, it lacks the very basic ingredient of success for an organisation as well as an individual. And that’s the individual him/herself.
As an individual, mere setting of goals might not produce desired results until he/she is prepared for those goals. A goal is nothing but a change which an organisation or an individual wants to embrace in order to reach a new level of excellence.
Let’s understand this with an example. Growing a tree is a wonderful thing, but just having the right seed is not enough. The soil needs preparation even before you put the seed into it. This preparation makes the soil receptive and favourable for the upcoming seed. This seed is nothing but your goal or change. Better the preparation, higher the probability of a seed growing into a fruitful tree.
When we talk about an organisation, what could be the soil?
The individuals, who are working for that organisation day in day out, are the soil. They are the ones who carry the seeds of success. The quantum of investment an organisation makes into the preparation of its soil will determine how fast and effectively it is going to achieve and sustain success.
Call them Human Assets, not Human Resources because Assets are valued but Resources are always exploited.
As mentioned in one of the articles by Harvard Business Review: “The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders”, employees pointed out how business leaders lack emotional intelligence and the practices they follow like micromanaging, bullying, narcissism, indecisiveness, and more.
It clearly shows that leadership needs to change its view towards employees. The term “Human Resources” is itself misleading. Employees should be considered as assets rather than resources. They should be called as “Human Assets”. Because assets are valued and give returns but resources are always exploited and deplete with time. This small shift in perspective can prove to be a huge paradigm shift in the approach of people management.
What happens to Resources?
They deplete and get exhausted after a period of time. Similarly, if you treat your employees as just resources, they get mentally and emotionally exhausted. They feel betrayed as if they are not treated the way they deserve and ultimately they leave. Such organisations might achieve amazing numbers in a short run but they lose brand value in a long term.
High-growth companies have a clear purpose behind their strategy for engaging employees, Gallup research shows. Such organisations simply invest time, money and energy on preparing their employees for organisational success. Because they consider them as their valuable assets and turn them into someone who can produce high value for the organisation in a long run.
And organisations which ignore this basic fundamental face consequences such as higher turnover, steeper absenteeism, lower customer satisfaction, and ultimately, poor financial performance.
For example, if you have to run a marathon, you don’t just wear your shoes and start running. Winning a race is not just about running as fast as possible. It is about preparing yourself so that you can run at your best pace. Preparation includes physical fitness as well as mental fitness. Physical fitness is a combination of nutrition and training whereas mental fitness requires strengthening your belief system. Only then the goal of winning a marathon seems achievable.
For an organisation, leadership is the mental being and its employees are its physical being
Whatever belief system the leadership has, will be reflected in the actions of each and every employee. If the leadership is highly motivated and determined, same attitude will be seen throughout the company. And if the leadership is pessimistic and just wants to make easy profits, then employees will also behave in a same way.
Some organisations feel that compensating their employees is more than enough. But that's the basic thing every organisation has to do. “Beyond salary, psychological and social fulfillment can determine which employees are motivated to stay, perform, and contribute to organisation success”, says an article published on Forbes.com
By providing compensation you are just hiring the person, like you get a land on lease. Higher pay for a more fertile one and lower for a less fertile one.
However, irrespective of the fact how fertile is your soil, it needs preparation before putting the seed and maintenance to sustain the growth of plant. That’s the fundamental fact. You may ask any farmer.
For many organisations, employee engagement, recognition and rewards, fair compensation, training and development, advancement opportunities, work-life balance and wellness initiatives, community involvement, employee events have just become fancy words to put in presentations and annual reports to show that they are doing a great favor to their employees.
Employee Engagement is not a Favor, it is the Need of an Organisation
As an individual, if you take care of your body, does that mean you are doing a favor to yourself or are you just preparing yourself to be more efficient and to perform on top of your capabilities? Is it your need or favor?
Similarly, employee engagement is not a favor. It is the need of an organisation so that it can keep its physical being (employees) always prepared for the upcoming challenges. It's about preparing them so well that they can carry and grow the seeds of your success with sustenance. It not only helps to achieve the most ambitious goals but also outperform the industry standards.
“Engagement is about investing in everyday working moments and incorporating engagement concepts into the workflow, even as businesses change and adopt new initiatives”, says Gallup Research.
Do you know why some organisations rank higher for “Great Place To Work” list and others not?
You must have heard about Google being one of the best places to work globally.
Do you know why its employees love their company?
Why Google is one of the dream companies for people around the globe?
Inc.com gives “An Inside Look at Google's Best Employee Perks” which you can get if you work at Google.
Some of the perks are as follows:
The never-ending free gourmet food and snacks
You get to work with amazing people and great thinkers
Get to use the company's products to get your work done and beta-test products that haven't been released to the public yet
Free to bring your pets to work
24-7 tech support from some of the best and brightest IT specialists available to help other you get your jobs done
Employees can give each other "massage credits" as an appreciation of getting job well done on projects. The massage credits can be redeemed for a free one-hour massage on campus
Free fitness classes and gyms, and sports facilities
In addition to vacations, you get more opportunities to explore life outside of the workplace, your passion
Google has some of the best death benefits. If a Googler passes away while working there, all their stock vests immediately. In addition to the life insurance payout, their surviving spouse continues to get half of the Googler's salary for the next 10 years. Also, an additional $1,000/month benefit for any of the Googler's children is provided.
In order to enhance creativity at work, Googlers follow the 80/20 rule.
As per this rule, Googlers devote 80% of their time to the primary job and 20% of time to working on passion projects that they believe will help the company.
Just strive to make their lives easier, and you will see greater returns
It’s just because Google considers its employees as assets and not resources. It values their employees and strive to make their lives easier and comfortable. When the leadership feels that as an organisation they owe it to their employees, then, in return, employees strive to find the most creative and innovative solutions which can make millions and billions of dollars for the company.
That’s the reason Google has some of the best employee friendly policies which encourage employees to be their most productive and creative self at work.
If employees are empowered and prepared well, they enjoy their work and have the highest job satisfaction which leads to better services to customers. Better services mean enhanced brand value leading to higher profits and increased sales.
Don’t call them workforce or resources, call them assets. Just like financial assets, the more you invest in them carefully, the more returns you will get as an organisation. The more value you add into their lives, the more value they will add to your organisation.
It’s as simple as that. Not a rocket science.