This article is part of a series about employee engagement. To have a clear definition of what is employee engagement in human resource management check this article also:
At present the challenge for the vast majority of organisations is how to create high levels of employee engagement. Decision makers recognise the added value of employees being involved into their job (engagement) and their organization (commitment), and the combination of the two to create the best scenario for both employees and organisations.
How to leverage employee engagement in human resources management
Despite the recognition from human resources management of the enormous added value that engagement can bring, there’s still some way to go before we realise the full potential of it. The Global Employee Engagement Index research conducted by us in 2018 revealed that globally just 25.3% of employees were engaged, whilst in Europe the figure is slightly lower at 23.9%.
Across Europe we also saw large regional differences. Leading the way were the Nordics, where 27% of employees were engaged. At the other end of the spectrum, just 17% of employees in the UK & Ireland were engaged.
The influencers of and the HR’s role in employee engagement
In some of our previous researches we also investigated the influencers of engagement, and discover that the following four employee survey statements have the biggest influence:
- My manager motivates me in my work
- The work of my team contributes to the success of the organisation
- I feel that I fit in at my organisation
- I feel that I am appreciated by my organisation
From our work with global organizations we see that the above four influencers provided managers, CEOs and directors with tangible and actionable points that help improve engagement. Working alongside those individuals driving the two key themes, should also be HR.
Human resources have the tools and knowledge to create strategies that really increase employee engagement within organisations and in doing so, can show stakeholders both their contribution to business performance, as well as their added value as business partners.
Employee engagement roles and responsibilities: management strategies for HR
By focusing on positively impacting the latter two influencers, we believe HR can help create high employee engagement in organisations, and illustrate their added value.
1. Employees fit within organisations
The first area that HR can positively impact is the cultural fit within organisations and this can be achieved in three ways:
Hiring based on cultural fit
Skills can be taught, cultural fit cannot
HR's role here is to focus on creating a match between employees and organisations’ culture.
Perspective employees should complement an organisation’s culture and there should be an immediate feeling from HR that the interviewee and organisation’s culture are matching.
Once employees are hired, human resources also have a key role in making sure new employees remain on board by safeguarding organisations’ culture. Human resources have a unique position within organisations as they are the mediators between organisations’ stakeholders, the business objectives and employees.
By inhabiting such a position, human resources can make certain that the direction and strategy set by stakeholders fits with the culture of an organisation. In doing so, human resources add value by helping organisations to avoid any potentially damaging rifts that could jeopardise their culture.
Communication of values
Alongside safeguarding culture, human resources have a duty to ensure the continuous communication of organisations’ values, and what they stand for. As mediators and business partners, HR are perfectly placed to facilitate the continuous communication by helping to keep organisational values on the agenda. Not only is this valuable for stakeholders, it also helps maintain employees’ feeling of belonging.
2. Appreciation from the organisation
Alongside cultural fit, human resources can make sure that employees receive adequate appreciation from the organisation and add further value by:
In liaison with managers, human resources need to make sure that outstanding individual and team performances are recognised and rewarded. Taking the lead in sharing regular performance related insights (obtained from measuring tools such as engagement surveys) is one area where HR can illustrate real added value.
Key organisational metrics should be made visible throughout the organisation and no-one is better placed to do this than HR.
Building a culture of praise and recognition
HR can build a culture of praise and recognition. Ideally, employees not only receive appreciation from managers, but also colleagues. Encouraging employees to do so and creating an environment where praise is well received has a tremendous positive impact.
Make sure you have the right employee engagement partner to support you in enhancing employee engagemement. You may be interested in reading also ''6 key criteria to find the right employee engagement survey provider'' and visit the pages for Effectory's solutions and plans.