HOW should organisations make best use of their staff in this day when employees are always mourning the passing on of the longtime covenants between employer and employees. Some things that did not matter in work environments are increasingly becoming strategic imperatives of businesses.
Imperatives like employee wellness and well-being, work life balance and the whole person approach are increasingly becoming business concerns as businesses harness and create the much-needed power residing in employees for the achievement of organisation goals.
However, there is no organisational panacea to this role. Many different approaches have to co-exist in companies and if properly used each will help in harnessing, leveraging and creating the needed power of employees in organisations.
Each initiative will require carefully developed set of norms, the performance measurements and reward systems tailored to the organisations specific purpose.
When recruiting, it is time businesses move away from hiring people of the same cognitive thinking. Allowing for diversity in the labour force brings in the needed innovation. Businesses need to allow for creative abrasion as a way of harnessing its power. Giving the employee a sense of ownership, ensuring that their opinions are always sought for is now a must. When they feel valued, employees want to do more and will in turn become your organisational ambassadors.
There is a need of entering into new covenants, under which both parties share a responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the workplace they want. In the past employees entrusted the major decisions affecting their careers to a parental organisation.
In order to effectively harness their power, it is now a business fad to give the individuals the opportunity to develop their careers. Usually people are frustrated when they find out that they lack the skills needed to adapt to changes in organisations. Employers need to be flexible and give employees the freedom to flourish. Forcing employees into some excessive structures may obviate the very reasons of what you are trying to achieve.
Allow them to reinvent themselves all the time and never force them to your ideas, but that they should be responsible for managing their careers and always ready to reinvent themselves to keep pace with change. By so doing they get committed to the company success.
Harnessing and creating the power of employees for delivery involves being innovative in all aspects of people management. Sharpen their skills always so that they are able to develop plans for their professional growth, as well as being able to hone their resume and be ready for the next challenge.
The employment space is now seamless. Increase their chances of moving on to other spaces and even when they finally leave, they do so as your brand ambassadors, who continue to tell the world about your organisation.
While fairly rewarding them for their job is a must, let motivation or internal drive be at the top. You must do away with carrot and stick approaches. These eventually get tired and employees see no need to push harder, unless as an employer you are constantly changing the approach to infuse new elements as drivers.
Trust is of paramount importance when harnessing the power of employees. Do away with the traditional parent-child relationship and give way to adult-adult relationship. Giving them assignment that provides them with opportunities to grow and acquire new skills should be available to all.
As business goals are developed incorporate their ideas, as well as those things that make them proud to work for the organisation.
The need to adopt a “whole person” approach when dealing with your intellect is crucial. Consider the employees’ mental, physical and financial needs mostly. Usually when one of these needs is affected it is very difficult to get the needed power and drive from the employee. It a fact a healthy employee creates wealth.
Employee recognition systems that reinforce positive performance behaviours and sincere appreciation of a job well done are factors that harness employees’ power. Keeping open the communication dialogues is also critical in this equation. Let employees share what is happening in the market and what skills they are likely to need down the road. Transparency increases employee value and power.
So, the strategy to harness and create power in employees is to help in empowering employees to contribute meaningfully to the success of the organisation. Before they decide to leave, sense of ownership forces them to perform their best, hence bringing positive results to the organisation.
Adopt healthier people management strategies and get rid of the traditional blame relationships. These only increase animosity and rebellion.Once the emotional element of the employee well-being equation is affected, there is not much an employee can do to the organisation. Organisations are doing a great job in hiring best talent and should not end there, but ensure they handle all other people process with class and dignity.
Jinda is the managing consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of professional HR and management services. — +263 773004143 or 263 242 772778 or visit: www.proservehr.com.