Authored Article by Saba Adil on "Work culture key to employee engagement" appeared both in Mumbai Mirror and Toi.com

Thursday, March 26, 2015

 
Work culture key to employee engagement

 Mumbai Mirror | Mar 27, 2015, 12.00AM IST

While team building activities, rewards and recognition, training and development initiatives are the prevalent forms of employee engagement programmes, work culture too, can be a crucial driver of employee engagement.

Less than half of the Indian workers in a survey have said that they feel fully committed or engaged with their current employer. According to a survey conducted by Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) last year on `Engaging Active and Passive JobSeekers' indicates that only 41 per cent of the respondents in India said they were `totally committed' to their current employer. The survey numbers may not sound promising from an organisation's point of view.

An employee can be called as successfully engaged within the company if he she participates full throttle towards the organisations' activities, reputation and interests and is ready to go over and above the regular call of duty to benefit the company.

 

While team building activities, rewards and recognition, training and employee development initiatives are the prevalent forms of employee engagement programmes, there is scope for much advancement in this area. Engagement first starts with the job and the work culture environment of the place.
For individuals to be truly engaged with their work and take pride in it, organisations must not only ensure that an employee's work is meaningful and in line with the organisations vision, but also that they receive regular and constructive feedback, are given opportunities for professional development and have a work culture that motivates them to perform their duties with commitment.

Leadership role
Most studies show that a key employee engagement driver is the actions of senior leaders. Leaders, as they are perceived to embody the organisation's values, are key in insuring that their work culture promotes the organisation's vision. By setting examples for employees who look up to them for guidance, empowering employees by making them feel valued and providing them platforms to voice grievances and acting upon them, leaders can greatly influence an employee's attitude towards work.To rebuild your companyculture successfully, organi sations need to first define their ideas on a suitable company culture by giving their employees a frame of reference. Instead of leaving the organisation's work culture open to interpretation, companies must ensure that every employee can successfully articulate a predefined idea of what employers expect their culture to represent. A 360 degree communication approach of using emails, SMSs, banners, posters, etc, which capture employees' attention can help them frame a work-culture that is in line with the organisation's vision.

Defining culture
While culture may seem a nebulous concept that escapes any form of quantification, the fact is that culture can be quantified, and one can develop tools to track and measure it.While what an ideal company culture constitutes may differ from one company to another, employers can use surveys to get inputs from employees and track their progress to gauge what cultural tools can best complement an employee's work output.

If organisations don't have a processes in place to maintain their culture and track worker's behaviours, they risk facing the consequences of having a dissatisfied work-force. Everyone in the organisation needs to be aligned with the company's defined work-culture and companies must coach their staff to think about how culture affects business. Organisations must keep in mind that creating a culture is a process that takes time. This is particularly true in larger organisations. Hence, companies can start overhauling their working environment by laying down parameters that constitute an ideal workplace and being persistent on coaching employees about it until they start to see actionable changes.

(The author is talent head, AEGON Religare Life Insurance)

(By Saba Adil)

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Year: 
2015

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