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HR - The Human Touch

By Sudhir Dhar 30-Aug-2010 | 12:49

There are typically three types of employees in every company. The ‘Engaged employees’ who are completely committed to the role that they perform and deliver superior results. The ‘not engaged’ employees who do pretty much what they are supposed to do (nothing more or less) but are susceptible to overtures from competition. The third band, the ‘actively disengaged’, is employees who have completely lost their link from the job they are supposed to perform in the company.

As you read this, think about which of these three groups do you fall under? Think of your colleagues. Almost certainly you will be able to categorize all the people that you work with into one of these three groups.

Companies have attempted to work on this issue for a long time now. They have relied on employee satisfaction surveys to provide them inputs about what needs to be done to create employee engagement. It is an ‘emotional economy’ and at the heart of this emotional economy is the ‘manager’, the leader of a team. The manager makes or breaks the journey that the company makes on the road to emotional engagement. Great managers do four key things- 

  • Select for Talent. Great managers are very careful about their choice of team-members and make sure that there is a clear talent-role match. 
  • Set clear expectations. Great managers define outcomes and let each employee find their own way to achieving these outcomes. 
  • Motivate people based on their strengths 
  • Develop people based on their fit, instead of simply moving them up the hierarchy. 

And all this works, and works dramatically. Emotionally engaged teams are more productive, more loyal to the company, create higher levels of profitability, and higher levels of customer satisfaction. In other words, it’s about business success, not just about creating a great place to work.