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Employee engagement through effective leadership strategies

The buzz word in the HR world today is “employee engagement”. Be it any HR magazine or newspaper, the first term one comes across is “employee engagement or engaged employees”. But are companies really putting an effort to engage people?

According to HR professionals, employee engagement is a term that describes an individual’s dedication and level of motivation towards their work and company. This concept takes into consideration an employee’s psychological state, behavioural engagement and skill engagement.

When HR professionals succeed in acquiring the best talent, engagement levels of new recruited talent is at its zenith. They are excited and buzzing with new energy. They are in the process of making a difference in their new role. However, this engagement level diminishes over a period time. For some, this engagement level might just reduce in weeks.

Some of the most crucial questions any HR researcher or professional must ask is – Why do employees become disengaged? What is the underlying factor that leads to the reduction of engagement in employees?

One of the answers to these questions lies in the leadership level of the company. It is understood that employees become disengaged as a result of a leader’s conduct and attitude, their behaviour, words and action. When a leader doesn’t appreciate or value their employees’ efforts and ideas, they become bossy. And nobody would likely work for a boss who undervalues performance and cribs about every little issue.

Another answer on disengaged employees that talent consultants or researchers have arrived is micromanagement – a control freak who keeps an eye on everything. In such a work environment, a leader keeps track of every little thing their employees do such as spying, banning them for socialising with other departments, lunch-hours reduced, lack of recreation activity etc.

Micromanagement also leads to inherent favouritism and biased judgement which hampers employees’ creativity and thus, makes them highly disengaged.

One of the important aspects to consider when it comes to engaging employees is by building trust. This is a skill that most leaders must deliberate upon and inculcate in every action they do. Apart from trust, a true leader must demonstrate other professional competencies in order to bring a change in their workforce.

Some of them are listed below:

Appreciation:

Appreciation increases motivation levels in an employee. Recognizing and acknowledging an employee with tangible or intangible rewards is a best way to demonstrate appreciation. The impact of exhibiting this skill is enduring and most of all immediate.

Autonomy:

Avoid micromanagement at all costs. It brings down the reputation of a good leader. Employees begin considering their leader as a boss which is basically not a good sign of team work and competition. Employees must be treated with respect and should be held accountable for every project they do.

Employees are not commodities:

Never consider employees as secondary items to be managed and manhandled about. It earns a bad name to the organisation. Treat them as humans. Avoid work overload. When a leader treats their employees as team mates, the performance increases and engagement level rises.

Keeping these tips in mind, a company can not only attract the best talent but also set an example of an employee-friendly organisation in the macro-environment.