Thursday, June 14, 2012

'DIS' Engagement

Employee engagement (EE) is a critical lever that has direct and significant impact on business outcomes. Productivity, customer retention and satisfaction, cost and process efficiencies are just a few of such critical aspects of business impacted by employee engagement. And a DIS-engaged workforce can weigh heavy on a business and if not managed or addressed swiftly, can bring the business down.

OK! So that's common knowledge. Is there a non-rocket science model to ensure EE is on track? In fact that answer lies in the "DIS" of disengagement.

"D": Disconnection from the purpose is a fundamental reason why some organizations despite investing in talent, are unable to achieve outstanding results(read more about this in an earlier Post titled Outstanding HR in volatile times (

And an organization can ensure this connection takes place through communication. As many types, methods and tools of communication you have at your disposal - use them, deploy them and consistently do so. From the purpose behind why the organization exists to the purpose behind strategic choices and tactical decisions - if it can be communicated, then communicate it.

"I": is about not feeling involved. Democracy is a great concept however not every move an organization makes can go through a ubiquitous democratic process of decision making. Having said that, things such as soliciting opinions and forming focused groups that involve employees in various aspects of business, can improve engagement.

"S": is about straying away from simplicity. The world of employees does not have to be a complex one, though in reality, in many organizations, the processes make it so. HR has played to that complexity in many ways, and I guess one of the reasons why it earned the "evil" title !!! Reminds me of a verse from a song by Eagles - "... we make it harder than it has to be ... and baby I can't tell you why"

Our (HR) job is and should be about removing barriers, defusing conflicts, resolving issues and simplifying processes for employees - so that they can focus on their Prime Directive - which is to do their job and do it really well.

Removing the DIS out of disengagement is not a complex science nor does it have to be.

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