Tag: Employee Engagement

25 Mar 2019

Employee happiness = business profitability

Because I’m Happy

Happy is not in the lexicon of what is considered the usual business lingo. We’re more accustomed to talking about profitability, efficiency and sustainability. Ironically, for those key factors to be in the ideal optimum state, employee welfare and engagement must be a priority for any forward-thinking organisation. This brings into focus the oft-blurred lines between corporate objectives and clearly aligned hiring and on-boarding best practices. This is also where HR practitioners excel, or ought to anyway, by helping senior management employ holistic hiring solutions with employee contentment as a priority.

Workplace harmony

Let’s get one thing straight: as much as companies strive to be the coolest place to work and be revered for their compensation and benefits package, it is, above everything else, a place where services are exchanged for payment. That’s the primary reason organisations conduct executive searches or hire HR consulting firms — to help them find the best and brightest. Keeping them on board is another story. It’s not lost on managers that with strategic succession planning in mind, they must maintain the interest of young hires who are increasingly more into personal development and instant gratification. But how does a leader strike that tricky balance between getting their pound of flesh and creating a family centric culture that encourages employees to act in the company’s best interest as if they were the CEO and founder? Many start-ups go as far as offering stock options or up the ante with paternity leave and on-site childcare or gym amenities. The fact is that organisations are awakening to the stark realities of competing for the loyalty of their internal customers almost as much as they do for external ones.

Business model

The subheading alludes to the framework and peculiar strategic objectives of any given company. In this instance, though, I’m referring to a model business environment, one that sets a standard for how team members are given primacy in one of the areas that matter most — their physical workspace. Over the last decade or so, much has been made of some high-profile examples of uber trendy, downright cool places to work. If you Googled ‘cool places to work’, Google itself would probably pop up as a top search item. As self-serving as that may seem, it’s also reputed to be true. The same can be said for Facebook and other open-floor designed corporate spaces — where enclosed offices are often seen as closed-off communication, and jeans, trendy tees and sneakers are the new normal for office attire. A local example of an international brand that employs this approach in some respect is Vistaprint. But don’t be fooled by the facade of employee chill-out areas, flashy paint jobs, or mini-gyms. Creating a ‘happy’ environment for your team members is never just about stylish or lavish amenities. It starts and ends with a genuine appreciation for the value and contribution each team member brings to the table, and backing that up at every level of their engagement and compensation.

Debra Fraser, MBA is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and a member of the Society of Human Resources Management in the US. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/employee-happiness-business-profitability_160261?profile=127

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10 Sep 2018

Why Employee Engagement is Not Working Part 2 by Debra Fraser

In last month’s issue, we identified that: “The average person would rather have a great boss looking out for them than prizes, trinkets and parties”. Improving productivity is directly linked to employees’ engagement with… their boss! So, if you are a leader who is cognisant of the power of your role and who wants to make a difference, what is the single most important thing you can do to ensure you are part of the solution, and not the source of the problem?

Become more self-aware.

Unsurprisingly, many ‘bad bosses’ actually believe they are fantastic leaders. The problem is, they are significantly disconnected from their employees’ perception of them.

Remember Psychology 101: the Johari box? Created by two psychologists in 1955, this theory is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. Each person’s self-awareness falls into four quadrants, as per the image below.

 

The challenge “terrible” bosses have is that much of their interactions fall in the “Blind” box. For example: during the busiest time of the day a manager appears on the production floor, shouting work-hard mantras meant to ‘encourage’ staff to hit their goals. He believes he is showing support for the teams ‘in the trenches’. Meanwhile, his staff perceives his ‘ranting’ as annoying, distracting and part of his typical ‘hands-off’ approach. The result? Staff absenteeism increases during peaks, productivity goals are missed, and there is unwanted turnover. Imagine the improvements in productivity and employee engagement if that manager were aware of the impact his approach had on his staff, instead of acting out of the blind box where everyone (including the company purse) loses!

But whose responsibility is it to make the manager aware? Is it the manager’s? Human resources’? The staff’s? Newsflash: staff will rarely volunteer feedback to their boss for obvious reasons, unless the leader genuinely solicits it and creates a safe environment for staff to share.

Leaders: Asking staff for feedback on YOU is the most important thing you can do to increase your own self-awareness and leadership effectiveness.

This week’s challenge: Ask your employees: “On a scale of 1-10, rate my leadership style.” Solicit the presence of a human resource representative to make it a ‘safe space’. Ensure you LISTEN and avoid any statement of self-defence. Then, each time you receive a rating lower than eight, ask the follow-up question: “What would I need to do differently to make that number a 10?” Don’t wait for your company’s annual employee satisfaction survey to show you up. Take the initiative to find out where your gaps are and then address them. In this way, you will have better served yourself, your staff, and your company.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

 

Debra Fraser MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions; a board member of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica; a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/fun-activities-and-prizes-do-not-the-engaged-employee-make-part-2_143704?profile=1096

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