Engaging with Employees: The Employee Perspective
The average British person will spend 3,507 days at work over the course of their career. Rounded, this amounts to 10 years spent in the workplace. Therefore, it is important that employees feel accepted, valued, and respected in the workplace. Often the focus is on the benefits for the company when the corporates engage with employees. This approach dehumanizes employees and sees them as a resource rather than a human being.
So, what is employee engagement?
According to Forbes, the definition is:
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.
As an employee, what are the benefits of me being engaged with the organization and how do I become emotionally invested in the business? Let’s start with the latter.
Receiving feedback from managers is important to employees. It is a recognition of their work and it can provide pointers to improve the quality of work. The feedback process should be a two-way dialogue. This lets the employee voice their view on the matter and engage in conversation with the manager. This allows both parties to have a better perception of what needs to be done and how it can be done. It is also an exercise to build trust and employ empathy on both sides. When you’re spending 10 years of your life in the workplace, it is important to be able to trust the people around you.
Feedback is also a great way for improvement
While the improvement in the quality of work is definitely a bonus for the company, it can also be rewarding for the employee. If we look at Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs, at the top of the pyramid is self-actualization.
(Adapted from BBC, 2013)
Self-improvement is important to individuals
It creates a sense of fulfilment and purpose. It is part of the journey of becoming the best version of yourself. Moreover, the two-way feedback process covers the esteem and belongingness needs when the employee is given positive feedback and the opportunity to voice their concerns and opinions. As an employee, this would motivate me to come to work and do my best to keep progressing and achieving.
Events are also a great way for employees to engage
This creates a more social setting for employees to socialize between themselves. Being in the presence of friends is more comforting than in the presence of strangers. When a person spends a decade of their life in the workplace, the relationships with coworkers and the emotion attached to the workplace is important to the well being of the individual. A poll quoted by The Independent, claims that the average Briton will think about quitting their job 16 times per year, signalling unhappiness and a lack of fulfilment. Being engaged in the organization and feeling “at home” would make working intrinsically motivated and the worker won’t have a reason to look for a new workplace. Given the current situation of working from home, the approach of the companies needs to adapt to and address the new challenges the employees are and will be facing.
It is time for employers to put the focus on the employees
They should be seen as people rather than resources. With the stress of daily life becoming more burdensome and stressful, it is time for corporations to do their part in ensuring their employees feel like they’re making the most out of the 10 years spent working, rather than think about quitting 16 times per year.