Friday, April 26, 2013

Employee Engagement and Great Place to Work Concept

Greatness is a matter of choice! Have we made a choice?
Is there a clear and linear relationship between employee engagement and the great place to work concept?

Do we need a set of highly engaged employees to convert a place of work to a great place to work at?
Is there a direct and clear linkage between what defines an organisation's success and what defines an individual employee's success?
Not so easy and direct. Ideally all positives add to make it a big positive. This is mathematics. Organisational culture, climate, environment, leadership, vision, mission, core objectives and core values are all created with taking in ind, an organisation's success. Individuals are considered as tools, engines, mind and muscle and whole lot of critical thinking and critical mass that make things happen for good, in the interest of the company. Nothing wrong as far as objectives of the enterprise is met, which economically considered as, making profits. If an enterprise makes profits, it has lived the purpose. People are paid to perform and they agree with this fact that work is meant to see organisation's success. So, where is the disconnect today?

The disconnect starts with marketing of the company to the people. People who are needed to be hired and who are needed to perform, show results and earn profits for the enterprise.

Great Place To Work is a marketing concept and not people-centric concept.

Does any company have any plan called by  any name internally, where the objective is to make their place of work, a Great Place To Work at? I can say with confidence, I have not heard of any program like this.

If this was the objective taken by any company, big or small, there would have been a change seen in the Mission, Vision and Core Values statements and the CEOs would have talked about the Concept of Great Place To Work at?

Research reports have indicated that only 5% of slides of CEOs talk about people.
Tell me how many of your VPs of Businesses, HR and others have got their objectives sheet, the goal of making organisation a Great Place To Work at?
Tell me, how many of your VPs have addressed people with objective to garner support and seek sincere help from people to get to the level of Great Place To Work. I have not heard any VP talk about people in the way as to meet his goal in the objective sheet.

I have been with organisations, who are MNCs in Engineering and Consulting. At the end of 25 years of existence, the organisation thinks of hiring a formal HR Leader in the organisation. It has started thinking of having Capability Building Framework for organizational Competencies at the end of 25 years. Organisation is full of people from Ivy League institutions and great technical and engineering brain.

The biggest mockery with Great Place To Work concept is that, is is considered HR department's baby.

Mind you, HR guys did not set up your business, they did not bring you to the level of competitive advantage that you are, they do not face your competition in the market place, they do not provide technology or consulting platform, they do not lead COEs, they do not manage your investments an budgets for business, neither CAPEX nor OPEX, they do not decide on M&As, De-mergers and sell-out. Then why leave organisation to HR folks for making it a Great Place To Work?

Other bigger challenge that I see in organisations is communication. Communication about business, status, market, competition, plans, excitement, fear, uncertainly, good news, et al. They are just shared between the few and it leads to organisation fragmentation. Operations do not need any tactical or strategic view, as is felt or even ignored a thinking.

People do not communicate enough and that is the reason that people do not know where they are heading to? Do they need to tighten seat belt?, Do they need course correction and skill and competency building? No idea!

I have no qualms in telling that established organisations have seen more of Peter Principle than others. There are lot many dead woods at the top who have stopped thinking and that has led to anarchy, chaos and corruption down under them.

If corporate has become so lenient to them, I wonder one day, they will have to deal with disasters.

Organisations have a unique way of communication, this always happens from top in the form of mandate. Communication does not travel back to the top. It is in fact not allowed many a times. As if is it allowed we will be able to listen to what has been told and figure out even what has not been said, as Peter Drucker said.

Worry is, if we allow upward communication questions may make many bosses very uncomfortable and they would become answerable for many a things.
In absence of communication channel and opportunity, some of those kind of bosses are safe and long lives the Peter Principle.

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