An organization’s market value comes from tangible assets (machinery, products, facilities, etc.) and intangible assets (brand, intellectual property, quality of workforce, etc.). As time goes, intangible asset has increase in market value. As we have heard before, products can easily be copied, a technological edge can prove fleeting, and more facilities can be built, but the quality of an organization’s people talent, its passion and commitment, is nearly impossible to replicate.
Engagement is the fuel that drives the value of intangible assets within organizations. It is a global concept and is a combination of job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment and intention to stay. Engagement is also one of the 3 components that helps organizations profits from their employee’s effort:
1. Align with strategies
2. Employee capabilities
3. Employee engagement
Employee engagement is defined in various ways:
· Extent to which people enjoy and believe in what they do and feel valued for doing it
· Extent to which employees commit to something or someone in the organization, and how long they stay as a result of that commitment
· State in which individuals are emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization as measured by the 3 primary behaviour:
- Stay, and
· Extent to which employees put discretionary effort into their work in the form of brainpower extra time and energy.
Highly engaged employees are more likely to feel that their company really cares. Thus it might be worthwhile to review how the engagement / business-impact relationship is actually measured. Employee engagement is assessed through ‘attitude’ or ‘organizational climate’ survey.
So, to create a highly engaged workforce, there are 3 value engagement drives:
1. Hire employees who fit the job requirements (person-job-fit)
2. Develop leaders with the right skills and competencies, and
3. Provide support through strong systems and strategies, and policies and procedures
The engaging work environment has a positive impact on employee behaviours and attitude. It builds loyalty and commitment in employees by meeting their personal and practical needs, thus encouraging them to stay in the organization.
An engaging work environment also taps into employees’ motivation to try harder (by being empowered). Organizations that have positively engaged employees will see the long-term benefits appearing in the financial bottom-line. They will have more satisfied and loyal customers, increased profits, better quality products / services, and greater growth potential.
Employees’ engagement begins with employee’s clear understanding of what they should be doing on the job. Even more critical is their understanding that their individual efforts and goals are aligned to the organizations goals and strategies.
Effective performance management is the backbone of employee engagement. It drives accountability, and responsibility, serves as the basis for individual development. It also enables leaders to pinpoint and address poor performance quickly and objectively, taking the appropriate corrective actions.
Employees may decide to stay with the organization for other reasons such as growth and development opportunities, strong leadership, and meaningful work. When employees work in an environment in which they can focus their attention on their work and have a drive to do their best, organizations will experience higher levels pf productivity and profitability. Engaged employees will also look for better ways to do their work, spending less time on wasted activities, and make effective use of resources.
Engaged employees are more innovative, motivated and place more emphasis on meeting customers’ needs and expectations, leading to increase in customer spending and ultimately increased sales and revenue. The ‘what can I do better of differently’ attitude of engaged employees versus the ‘it’s not in my job description’ attitude of the unengaged simply leads to better financial performance.
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Patrick PC Ow