Measures the strength of the relationships between the focal individual and his/her immediate environment where the individual has more control. It is in turn driven by a host of sub-drivers that pertain to the individual’s immediate work environment.
Based on extensive past research in the area, the following sub-drivers of employee involvement can be applied across most organizations and industries:
Supervisor: “People join companies; but they leave supervisors.” The employee’s relationship with his or her supervisor figures more than prominently in the immediate work environment; because the supervisor represents the most significant point of direct contact between the employee and the organization at large.
Job Role: In the traditional stance to job-role assignment, emphasis is often placed upon functional multitasking. An employees’ job role typically spans responsibilities that rely on his/her weaknesses as much as his/her strengths. Based on past research experience however, employees feel more involved with the organization when their job roles leverage on their strengths. The key to boosting employee engagement is thus to design complementary job roles that taps on every employee’s strengths.
Empowerment: Based on past research, empowerment increases employees’ ownership of their assigned tasks. By trusting employees with wider latitude to make decisions, empowerment helps move employees from a position of passivity to take more responsibility of their assigned roles.
Training & Development: ‘Training’ is the traditional approach to keeping the employees abreast with new skills and knowledge. However, research is increasingly establishing ‘Coaching’ as a superior model of employee development to ‘Training’, in terms of fostering employee engagement. While ‘Training’ is characterized by one-off courses that impart new knowledge to relevant employees, ‘Coaching’ is focused on the professional development of individual employees.
Career Advancement: Moving outstanding employees up the organizational hierarchy does not ensure that these employees stay engaged with the company. The key lies in designing a career advancement path that befits the strengths and capabilities of individual employees. Promoting an employee into a management position based on his or her outstanding performance in a role that requires an unrelated skill-set will lead to misalignment between the company and that employee.
Feedback & Appraisal: A system of facilitating constructive feedback and appraisal, used as a developmental tool, keeps employees informed about how their performance is being evaluated by the management. For the employees, regular feedback and appraisal provides an avenue for timely adjustments and re-calibration of self-assessments. This interactive process will in turn keep the employee involved in their job-role developments, thereby driving employee engagement.
Teamwork: Being part of a dynamic and effective team is a powerful driver of engagement for the employee. The environment of trust that underpins an effective team induces less calculated contributions and hence greater involvement on the part of the employees. What often impedes effective team dynamics is a company culture that rewards individual achievement over team collaboration. In an organization where one employee’s success is defined by the relative failure of others, team dynamics are often limited by the lack of trust among team members.