Engagement: trust us, it works

Employees aren’t our greatest asset, engaged employees are. And trust, above all else, determines whether employees are engaged, according to a presenter at the a recent conference.

The event, Employer Branding and Employee Engagement Summit, was held by Association and Communication Events (Acevents) in Sydney on 30 and 31 July 2012. Ramiro Garces, vice president human resources, Kimberley-Clark Latin America, provided a case study of initiatives to promote engagement in his company. He defined engagement as a strong rational and emotional attachment to the employer.

The heart and soul of engagement is trust. This has five attributes:

  1. credibility
  2. fairness
  3. respect
  4. pride (relationship to the job)
  5. camaraderie (relationship with other employees).

Garces quoted a global survey that found 68% of leaders believed organisation culture was a source of competitive advantage, 76% believed it was changeable and 65% believed they needed to change it in their own organisations. Around 81% believed an organisation without a high-performance culture would be doomed to mediocrity, but only about 10% of all organisations succeeded in building one.

Engagement also drives company reputation, because all employees are ambassadors for its brand and will tell others what they think. An important point is the need to communicate WITH employees, not TO them. This includes listening, thanking, inspiring, developing, caring and celebrating.

What is credibility?

  • Management makes its expectations clear.
  • Employees can ask management any reasonable question and receive a straight answer.
  • Management has a clear view of where the organisation is going and how to get there.
  • Management’s actions match its words.

What is respect?

  • Employees receive training and development to further themselves professionally.
  • Management recognises honest mistakes as simply part of doing business.
  • Management involves people in decisions that affect their job or work environment.
  • Management shows sincere interest in employees as people, not just as employees.

What is fairness?

  • Employees receive their fair share of organisation profits.
  • Everyone has opportunities to gain special recognition.
  • Promotions are made on merit.
  • Managers avoid playing favourites.

What is pride?

  • Employees believe they make a difference.
  • Work has special meaning and is not ‚ ≤just a job’.
  • Employees look forward to coming to work.

What is camaraderie?

  • People celebrate special events at work.
  • People care about each other at work.
  • The workplace has a ‚ ≤family’ or ‚ ≤team’ feeling.
Further information; More information about this seminar is available from Acevents.
Source: Mike Toten, HR writer, prepared this summary.https://www.workplaceinfo.com.au
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