Employee Engagement: “No involvement, no commitment”
We work with various corporates and organisations who engage us in staff development and growth. This is important. It tells that an organisation cares about its staff growth needs who ultimately perform work to meet customer expectations. However, if leadership and management do not engage employees about the company’s plans and activities, a whole new set of employee dissatisfaction arises.
“Unless leaders engage staff in organizations, their best strategic plans are naught for getting involvement and commitment.”
It is the role of leaders to explore the organisation’s future and provide direction to management, staff and other stakeholders. Based on the current situation, past performance, exciting opportunities or possible threats – top management may decide on certain strategies, that to most employees may seem intimidating, out of ‘sync’ or risky. A new maverick or well meaning CEO can infuse potentially useful ideas but if done without proper engagement and communication, this sparks a negative and defensive reaction.
We should always remember that the purpose of strategy is to gain competitive advantage – not really upset or irk staff.
When companies who do not communicate well and engage staff execute changes (according to strategy), workers become anxious, suspicious and insecure. This leads to managers who adopt a “tell, command and control” style of communication, which in turn leads to defensiveness, gossip and taking sides, which in turn leads to apathy and low staff morale. It is these kind of organisations which breed employees who have a “J-O-B”, and not a “responsibility” for the purpose or mission of the company.
All it takes is employee engagement to carry out the best or most critical ideas. Get their buy-in. Hear their concerns and voices. Help them adapt. Help them prepare. Show them appreciation. Be open, honest and transparent – highlighting that changes are being made in the interests of business first and foremost. Talk about the importance of the customer, and how we better plan to meet or exceed expectations. Don’t assume and take things for granted. Get people on board through understanding.
Our ecomonies don’t need unnecessary strikes. We don’t want to cripple service delivery. We don’t need “us and them”. We don’t need bad corporate reputation and management consultants to solve this.
We need “we”. We need to “serve”. We need remind and communicate the plans motivated by the mission statement or purpose, normally hung in framed, fancy gold caligraphy at the reception area.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”
– Stephen Covey
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