In our current world of work it is not sufficient for organisations to just be providing for the basic needs of their workers. Taylorist principles really are a thing of the past – a moment in history, to be remembered, maybe… but not to be relived now, please. Let’s be blunt… high level employee engagement cannot be achieved following Taylorist principles!
Yes, pay is definitely important, especially when it is lower than needed to survive, and it is quite shocking, for those who dare to look, to realise that 20 Million working people in the UK still live in poverty – that’s 1 in 3 people.
But, our working practices, now, have to offer so much more than money in order for employee engagement to take place in a way that has everyone wanting to do well for, and by, the organisation.
We want their loyalty. We want their skills. We want them to give over and above the call of duty, regularly. We want their IP in our name. We want them at our beck and call. We want them to sacrifice their family for us. We want their soul – after all, they cannot be a truly engaged employee unless they have that deep enduring connection with us, irrespective of how ‘we’ behave, right? Because, at some level in our psyche, maybe we seem to think we ‘own’ them – we bought them with that contract they signed, didn’t we? Like pawns in a game of chess, to be manoeuvred around a board trying to capture market share or check-mating the competition… “Yes! I have your queen at last and your king is surrounded.” The battle being waged often permeates the boundaries of ones own ranks – the enemy within becomes a key distraction and then the employee engagement battle is well and truly lost!
Employee Engagement – Most want to feel engaged!
It is probably the case that many, though not all, employees want to feel connected in some way to the place that they work, beyond the monthly pay-cheque. For those who don’t it might even be a way of protecting themselves from the corporate machine! But engagement also means different things to different people and there are different levels of employee engagement to consider – from purely transactional in nature through to something akin to soul mate status.
It is well known that many employees like to feel that their organisation is contributing something worthwhile, whether that is through innovation or helping others, the idea of ‘advancing and improving’ something is a key motivator that drives human behaviour. Employee engagement tools achieving this, then, will be more effective at creating sustained engagement. Even when employees cannot see a direct correlation between what they do personally and the organisation’s outcomes, just knowing they are a part of something that is doing greater good in the world can give employees something to feel proud of. And as with our other relationships we do want to feel proud – after all, what does it say about me and my abilities if I cannot shout loudly and proudly about who I work for or what I do? And what better way to get referrals too!
Employee Engagement lies beyond the organisation
John Lennon – Idealist, dreamer, or aspirational genius? John Lennon’s iconic tune ‘Imagine’ will resonate with humanity, possibly for as long as we all shall all live. Is it really possible to achieve a world where we all live as equals in terms of access to the basic needs and requirements for a healthy life? Is it possible for our organisations to strive to deliver that world – beyond their corporate objectives to line the pockets of shareholders, and doesn’t it feel somehow more ‘right’ to consider the bigger, bigger picture? All things considered, isn’t it even more commercially astute to do so? Do you need the research findings to unequivocally demonstrate the link (which will never happen) or can you trust your instincts and human nature to guide you to the truth?
It is our nature to align ourselves with a cause that is greater than ourselves… which also means a cause that is greater than those organisations (or shareholders pockets) to which we give of ourselves for the period of our employment. This should not be considered rocket science and some are doing it well already. But a lot have a long way to go. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that difficult either.
Just imagine… a holistic HR platform that delivers employee engagement through the undertaking of challenges together to co-create a better world; to deliver CSR and sustainability initiatives in a fun and innovative way that also unites people as a team and bonds them with the company vision, mission and values; a place to share great ideas willingly for the betterment of the business and the working practices of peers; and a way to recognise others for their simple acts of kindness through to their transformational behaviours… and the reward is time! A global currency… the place where dreams can become a reality… Just imagine that world!
The Engaged Employee Dream – Imagine (John Lennon)
Imagine there’s no heaven
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine all the people living in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer… but I’m not the only one
Imagine no possessions… No greed or hunger
Imagine all the people sharing all the world
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
We did imagine that HR platform! And Avinity Alive was born from that dream to help create better business and a better world through sustained employee engagement – because the greater good really does matter.