Have you been thinking about engagement this February? How motivated and engaged are your team right now? How many of your employees do you think have made a New Year’s resolution to change jobs in 2015? Who would you hope is on that list - and who do you hope is not?
Engagement is the term used for employees who are seen as committed to the organisation, hard-working, flexible, motivated and brimming with ideas. They are the employees who go the extra mile for you, often without being asked. And these are the employees that most organisations will desperately want to attract and keep.
Maintaining high levels of engagement isn’t easy. Back in the 1960s Frederick Hertzberg suggested that the things that motivate employees are not the same as the things that demotivate them. He said people tend to be motivated by achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement, and opportunities for growth. On the other hand, they tend to be demotivated by factors such as company policies and procedures, the way they are supervised, how well they get on with colleagues and managers, their salary, status and security. What makes this particularly tricky for managers is that we are all different, and we are all motivated, and dissatisfied, by different things depending on our personality and individual circumstances.
If a valued member of staff hands you their resignation, it’s most likely to have been triggered by something in the second list – a change in company policy that did not suit them, or an issue with the way they are being managed, or concerns about their salary or status, for example.
We often end up introducing or changing HR policies after a difficult issue with an individual employee. But the impact is felt by everyone. And those who were previously happily engaged and highly productive may become disenchanted and start coasting – or start looking around for another job.
Motivation is an interesting issue that I will return to in future posts. But for now, here’s a thought. How many of your company rules and HR policies reflect difficult situations with individual employees that are unlikely to ever arise again? How many perfectly reasonable activities have you banned as a result?
If you are lucky enough to have engaged employees, why not put them at the heart of all your HR policies instead? Talk to me about a positive approach to HR today.
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