I know that employee engagement is a phrase that many organizations talk about. To me; that speaks to retention. If our employees are engaged, they will remain with the company and the overall benefit of course, is that skills and knowledge stay. I recently read an article in the Financial Post, “Tough economic times pose special challenges” (Monday, July 13, 2009) in which they discussed the psychology of relationships (this can be on a personal or work level). What the article states is that most people automatically keep score in their own minds to see how balanced the contributions they make to a relationship are against what they receive. If an employee feels that he or she is putting more that what they are receiving (i.e. wages, benefits, equitable reward and recognition distribution) engagement will drop.
The biggest problem here of course, is perception. This is where having strong policies and the ‘living’ culture of the organization comes in. The values that an organization states they are built on, must be lived out. When employees look for what they perceive as equitable balance through treatment, remember that it is perception we are talking about. Is there consistency? Do the same rules apply to all individuals? Are we ensuring our leaders provide the recognition and guidance employees require? Making sure employees have the appropriate tools to do their jobs effectively is; believe it or not, also a contributing factor. Find out what your employees need. Not everyone wants to be a super star and climb up the corporate ladder. Some are very happy where they are as long as they are appreciated for what they do and their contribution is recognized. Knowing who our employees are, what they do and acknowledging them indicates respect – I believe this is something that will keep engaged and loyal employees.