All the studies are showing that if your employees are engaged – meaning they’re interested in their jobs, focused and motivated – they’re far less likely to become unproductive or think about quitting. In other words, continued engagement is the real secret to business success.
Here’s the question, though. Is it really fair to say that building employee engagement is solely the job of the HR office? It’s true that HR is all about managing employees and their environment, and in theory, that’s all well and good. But in practice, there are a lot of other cooks in the kitchen simmering the engagement soup.
According to Skip Prichard Leadership Insights, the answer is clear – employee engagement is not just an HR issue. Paul Keijzer, CEO and managing partner of Engage Consulting, told the news source that everyone needs to be involved in order to build a highly engaged staff.
“There’s no questioning the fact that everyone’s involvement is crucial for employee engagement to be successful,” Keijzer explained. “There are four people with key roles to play in creating a successful employee engagement program. It’s far from being HR’s responsibility only. So let’s get everyone on board, stop pointing fingers at the HR department and have everyone play the strategic role they have to play to meet all our goals.”
The four parties who have a hand in engagement are the employee, the manager, the CEO and the HR department. All are important. Let’s run through a quick analysis of each:
It starts with the employee
Obviously, employees themselves must begin by being willing to engage in their current positions. They should be self-aware about what drives them to perform and work to maximize their productivity. If the employee isn’t willing, there’s nothing HR or anyone else can do.
Managers must get involved
The line manager is the individual most heavily involved in managing the day-to-day performance of the employee. The manager’s job is to remove barriers to success and enforce the right behaviors, ideally by rewarding employees who do their jobs the right way.
CEOs provide leadership
Higher up on the totem pole, the C-suite also plays a role. The CEO’s job is to inspire all employees by uniting them behind a common purpose. Whatever philosophy or higher goals the business has, it’s the CEO’s job to communicate them and lead by example.
HR should drive engagement too
Finally, we get to HR. If you’re not involved in employees’ daily routines all the time, it’s not always easy to make a difference, but you still must find a way to educate people on the value of engagement and promote it as best you can.