Building Bridges: Employee Engagement at the Workplace

Employee Engagement

It Seems We Have a Problem! 

‘I can’t do this anymore!’. There is a possibility that you might stumble upon someone use these words at the workplace. Chances are, whatever you say to console them, it just doesn’t seem to work. HR steps in. The disgruntled employee is tediously explained the specifics to boost up their engagement in the office. The job of the HR is done. The employee, however, remains disgruntled, as before. There is a disconnect in that space that we are talking about. What is lacking here, is what is commonly known as ‘Employee Engagement.’ 

Defining Employee Engagement? 

Employee Engagement can be explained as the connection an employee feels with the place they work. The word-to-word definition of ‘Employee Engagement’ often tends to limit the essence of the words within a couple of key terms. It can be emotional, mental, it may as well be spiritual. Human connections cannot be boxed within a few jargons. Establishing a human bond requires way more than a few theories. 

Crossing the burnt bridge? 

By the time any intervention is made, more often than not, the bridges are already burnt between the employees and the workplace. But, why is that so? More so, an employee who may not be disgruntled may feel the same void when it comes to their work. Let us make it clear that in no way happiness can be equated with engagement. Gallup Report statistics indicate that over 51% of employees feel slightly disengaged while over 13% are actively disengaged. The latter group often tends to produce minimal results that end up costing the companies in terms of performance and revenue. But, is it really their fault? There have also been cases of employees overturning their approach and performance with due span of time. A few employees have also made the jump from the 13% actively disengaged to the actively engaged 36%. The non-permanency of the statistics highlights the fact that no single employee is born ‘Disengaged.’  

Is it really that simple?  

Human emotion is like a soft dough. It can be pressed, molded, shaped given different situations. Although the pandemic somehow miraculously decreased the percentage of disengaged employees, there are other pertinent issues. 38% of employees have shown signs of burnouts or stress due to regular virtual meetings. Employee engagement is rising, but are employees really happy? We now have come to where we started, a paradox of the workplace. Are we ever going to break the forbidden door hidden somewhere and pave a new road to unbox human emotions?  

Building a Block Before Building a Bridge 

Employee Engagement for long has been tagged with work culture, but organizations are yet to implement it effectively. Maybe we should take a step back. Do what we humans do best. Socialize. Emphasize. Engage!  

 Employee Engagement becomes an umbrella term built of many building blocks. Each block ticks’ certain boxes at specific intervals.  En-masse engagements are an effective way of establishing, trust, recognition, respect and appreciation among the many working employees. But the initial connection has to be built at the individual level. Each block becomes important. It takes a gradual amount of time for each block to gain a stronghold. A stronghold of trust and loyalty that eventually gives way to Employee Advocacy.

It is a step-by-step process; each block provides a unique solution. Recognition of employee efforts, rewarding the hard work, enabling a decentralized authority, few factors that help the blocks become a bridge of connectivity. For recognition of individual well-being and employee engagement go hand in hand. The future of work dynamic is uncertain given the current situation. Employee engagement now becomes all the more important. 

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