- Met online on at jobs website – seemed like a perfect match.
- Intense courtship (recruitment).
- Popped the question (the offer).
- Signed a prenup (acceptance letter, confidentiality agreement, new hire paperwork).
- Went on honeymoon (new hire orientation).
- Started to feel out of touch (didn’t feel appreciated; tried to meet unreasonable expectations; didn’t know important information).
- Tried to rekindle the romance with a company BBQ and some gifts (tsotchkes like a key chain with the company logo).
- Tried to make it work with counseling (Employee Assistance Program).
- Broke up (exit interview).
- Kept the ring (key ring) but gave the office keys back.
What comes to mind when you think of employee engagement? Is it just another buzzword? How achievable is it in a tenuous employer/employee relationship where each partner wonders if the other is going to love ‘em and leave ‘em?
Is it too much for companies to think they can capture the minds and hearts of employees? Probably – especially when company profits are increasing yet they continue to cut costs and salaries. Companies are still expecting employees to do more with less – like take on two jobs because the company isn’t replacing people it fired and is offering little in increased pay. Then there are companies who get creative and give employees more responsibility in the guise of a promotion by putting them in a completely different area of the company without the proper tools to do their new jobs. It’s a “sink or swim” mentality – a setup for failure. In these cases, companies are working against themselves, making it impossible for employees to feel engaged.
So, what’s a corporate communicator to do when the company holds employees in the palm of its collective hand, squeezing every last bit of productivity out of them like pulp from a lemon? How do you communicate when the company:
- doesn’t give employees the tools to do their jobs effectively
- is not clear about the company’s vision
- hasn’t created a culture that’s rewarding and fun
- doesn’t treat employees with respect
- has a management team that fears open and honest communication
- doesn’t promote ownership in the business by including employees in decisions
- doesn’t encourage development or provide opportunities to learn and grow?
Not doing these practices day in and day out leads to disengagement. Communications alone can’t shoulder the responsibility of engagement unless these practices become a company way of life. Engagement should not simply be a program that makes its way on the executive radar screen once a year when the employee survey results come in. It has to be woven into the company fabric to be successful.
What does employee engagement mean to you? Have any good examples to share of companies doing it right?
Tags: Arizona communication consulting, Arizona public relations, communication consulting, employee communications, employee engagement, Internal Communications, Phoenix communication consulting, Phoenix Public Relations, Scottsdale communication consulting, Scottsdale Public Relations, The Flip Side Communications