It is very common to hear about the companies implementing innovative initiatives and proactive programs for building a culture of employee engagement. There are many others that are still thinking about where to start and have no foreseeable plans for the future. The organizations may have a strong company culture but may not have an engaged workforce. Thus, it is a wide open area and the industry must look at the employees’ perspective in order to engage him. One must, however, keep in mind that every individual has a different thinking pattern and to satisfy everyone is never possible.
What is the major motivator? You guessed it right that money is the major motivator. A pay check credited to the bank account every month end keeps the employee going. However, does it keep the employee engaged? A number of companies offer freebies like food, snacks, and tea beside the regular salary, but these only help to a certain extent. The employee knows that he will get the salary and other perks with some variation, wherever he works. To him, the salary credit on the due date, taxation benefits, free training, and foreign travel hold much more significance than anything else.
Freedom to work: When an employee finds that he has the freedom to operate in his work area, he delivers the best. Many companies make the mistake of tying people with bonds at the time of joining or when they send them for overseas training. They know it very well, that one-sided bonds can be challenged in the court of law and they can never drive employee engagement with bonds. On the contrary, if an employee knows that he can be eligible for another foreign tour in the coming year, he is likely to excel in his work area.
Stability: An employee prefers to work in a stable environment rather than a riskier one. The organizations may reward the employee handsomely but he may find it very risky. The MNCs and well-known brands try to derive the maximum out of the employee by keeping a sword hanging on his head. Sooner or later the employee is likely to de-risk himself. No one likes to operate in a stress filled environment for long, even if the stakes are very high. The employee is happy with a steady average paying job which offers him longevity in the organization.
Influential trainers and sports activities: The employees in any organization like to engage with the bigwigs in the industry. Any opportunity to listen to and interact with entities like Ratan Tata, Narain Murthy, Chanda Kochar, and MS Dhoni to name a few, can be a game changer for the employees. Their motivation talks at the forums hosted by CII and confederation of Indian Industries etc. can help a lot in employee engagement. A focus on sports activities, like volleyball, cricket, and table tennis in the form of intra and inter-company events can help keep the employees interested.
For any employee, the motivational techniques work better than the monetary ones in getting him engaged. At the end of the day, he knows that he will earn his salary, but he likes to work hard for that overseas training and a chance to interact with the who’s who of the industry. Being sponsored for all expenses paid two-year management degree program from the company can turn the tide for the employee. The companies need to change their outlook keeping in mind the employees’ perspective for keeping them engaged.
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