Most of you reading this article would certainly have heard about this great conversation that occurred between John F. Kennedy and a janitor in NASA when the first moon expedition was under process. The lore goes on something like this – When asked by Kennedy what he was doing there, the Janitor replied “Sir, I’m helping put a man on the Moon”. How true this story is, one may never really know, but folklore and legends have always been romantic and tend to go a bit overboard than what is factual. Nevertheless, it drives the point better than theories defined to explain things. An example to be picked here is Employee Engagement.
It is impossible for all organizations to have an objective like NASA, to engage employees across the board. But there are methods and frameworks to create the kind of engagement that will ensure that the relationship between an organization and its employees is strengthened and everyone is on the same page. How does one go about this before narrowing down to a solution? The priority of every organization is to periodically monitor and identify the performance gap between what is required by an employee and what is possible by an employee. This will bring about clarity on how many employees go beyond their current responsibilities and motivate themselves to outdo their peers and also what differentiates them from rest of the flock. Using this information an employer can start creating training modules that will bring the rest of the population into the circle and make them aligned with the Organization’s Values, Culture and Vision. Unless the employees are not passionate about the Organization’s objectives they will not strive to improve their performance.
People spend more than 9 hours of their time every day at work for 5 days in a week which means they are actually spending more time in comparison to their family time but still there is burnout, boredom, frustration, lack of new ideas etc. Very few at the top have the necessary energy, knowledge and gumption to accomplish more than what is required by them. This is a serious issue as employees are the organizations most valuable resources and if by not retaining them with effective engagement it can have drastic consequences in terms of organization’s performance.
It is very clear that every employee needs the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to come up with superior performance. Organizations need to understand the requirement as per the market scenario and create infrastructure to equip their employees to go beyond their job definitions and come up with exemplary results. This will create a ripple effect and make them proud ambassadors for what they do and for whom they work and bingo you have a leader there. This brings the question of investment in learning and development and whether it should be in-house or it needs to be outsourced. There are many organizations that have developed this capability and are sought after by big companies for training their employees. These companies have designed their own experiential learning programs to increase the employee engagement and also provide customized programs based on the requirement. Some companies have their own infrastructure, designed to make their employees committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being. Whatever the option, the fact of the matter is prioritizing employee engagement is key to an organization’s success.