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The HR mantra that guides great workplaces


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 12 July 2019 00:00


 Steve Jobs made hiring a practice at Apple 
 

Great Place To Work Institute held its award program for the sixth time last week. Great Place to Work Institute Sri Lanka has been conducting studies to understand and recognise the best workplaces in Sri Lanka since 2013. 

A great place to work from an employee’s perspective is one where you can genuinely trust the people you work for, have pride in the job you do and enjoy the engagement they have with the people they work with. 

A great workplace culture enables managers to align employees to achieve the organisation’s objectives, encourage and enable employees to give their very best at all times and work together as a cohesive team.

In most companies how long employees stay at a company, and how productive they are there, is determined by the relationship they have with their immediate supervisor.

As a leader, it is the leader’s job to focus on getting things done—on time, with acceptable quality, and within the allocated budget. That requires the leader to surround himself with people who could help create the culture he desires. At the same time, we are supposed to be leading team members to deliver top performance. It isn’t therefore surprising when managers think that their top performers perform better when left alone by their managers. 

New employees 

Most employees, when they join an organisation, they’re usually very enthusiastic, committed, and ready to be advocates for their new employer. Simply put, they’re highly engaged and motivated to contribute for the betterment of their employer. Often, that first three years on the job is their best. 

Gallup Organisation research reveals that the longer an employee stays with a company, the less engaged he or she becomes. And that drop, costs businesses big in lost profit and sales, and in lower customer satisfaction and lower output. In fact, actively disengaged employees – the least productive – cost the company hugely per year in lost productivity.

Engagement

So what can managers do to enhance employee engagement? What are the signs that employees are becoming disenchanted and demotivated, and what can managers do to reverse the slide? 

One reason is that engaged employees tend to get the least amount of focus and attention from their managers, in part because they’re doing exactly what their manager needs them to do. However they are not “high performing machines.” Like the rest they need to be set goals, meet and exceed expectations, and charge enthusiastically toward the next tough task.

Therefore managers need to set clear expectations, give their best employees the right materials, focus on their development, and recognise their best performers – those are the strategies that drive employee engagement and performance across the organisation.

Best employees

As discussed above, some managers mistakenly think they should leave their best employees alone to get on with their work. Great managers do just the opposite. Great managers spend most of their time with their most productive and talented employees because they have the most potential to create competitive advantage for the firm. 

If a manager coaches an average performance from a below-average employee, she still has an average performer. But if she coaches a good employee to greatness, she gains a great performer. Therefore there is the need to refocus on that employee – on his skills, knowledge, and talents on a continuous basis. Employees who get to do what they do best every day move toward high engagement. And last but not least, catch them doing things right and recognise them for excellence. Recognition is personally fulfilling, but even more, recognition communicates what an organisation really values, and it reinforces employee behaviours that reflect those values the organisation is known for, by their customers, public and society. Many leaders fail to see this and destroy a great culture.

(The writer is a 

HR thought leader.)


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