As rightly said by Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD “In today’s fast-changing and uncertain world, for any organisation to survive and thrive, it needs to be able to get the best from its people. People are at the heart of any business and to give their best they need to be motivated, properly supported and trained, aligned with the purpose of the organisation, committed to its success and confident about the future. “Yet In a typical Ghanaian work setting, employee discretion is repressed whiles employees are disillusioned and manipulated with decorated HR offices and fat HR handbooks that only project a hologram of employee engagement. David Macleod simply refers to employee engagement as “This is about how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”. Employee Engagement cannot be achieved by a mechanistic approach where employee roles are scripted and autonomy dispelled. What constitutes employee engagement?
In an effect to ensure standardization, coordination and limited room for wastage, most Ghanaian companies install overly stringent supervisory programmes that ensure employees are in formation. It may be a reasonable solution for the short-term but in a turbulent business environment where there are regular heap of uncertainties, employee discretion will enable employees utilize their skills much effectively ensuring diverse alternative ideas which would improve operations. Employee engagement is about drawing on employees’ knowledge and ideas to improve products and services, and enabling innovative working procedures.
Ouite a number of Ghanaian companies employ a downward form of communication where employees are only privy to decisions after they have been discussed and agreed by top management. Ensure that the lines of communication are open, both upward, downward and laterally, so employees can express opinions, concerns and ideas. This way everyone can feel involved in the management and direction of the company going forward. This kind of atmosphere is much easier to foster in a smaller organisation, as employees can often feel anonymous and replaceable in a larger company.
Employee engagement seeks to ensure that employees are great advocate of your organisation to your clients, users and customers and going the extra mile to finish a piece of work. Per your relationship with your employees do you honestly think they would make referrals? Your employees are your first customers, if they rather feel alienated as a result of poor working conditions or are less motivated, it will affect productivity and sales margins.
Good retention strategies ensure that employees are motivated and committed to their jobs. Many Ghanaian companies have employees resigning on a regular, as a result of mistrust, unfair treatments, bad working conditions, undefined job description, unfair reward systems etc One referral attracts 10 customers but 1 badmouth repels a 1000. A company’s public image is affected if employees are discontent and roll over the fence on a regular base. Engaging employees ensures employee citizenship which reduces employee attrition.
One of the key abilities of an excellent leader is that they make employees feel appreciated for their good work. A simple acknowledgement of a job well done can make all the difference to an employee’s happiness. People rarely work for money alone; it is important to feel a sense of accomplishment too.
Employees who feel they have a degree of flexibility in the way they work and the manner with which they obtain results tend to be more productive and engaged. Depending on the business in question, this can come in the form of telecommuting on occasion, allowing time off for family issues or flexitime. This makes for more accountable and committed employees, and as flexibility works both ways, they may feel more inclined to work longer hours at more pressing times of the year.
Employee engagement is rooted in trust, communication and commitment. An engaged employee is one who is both absorbed and enthusiastic about their day-to-day work and the direction of the organisation as a whole. Majority of companies in Ghana are in an HRM huddle still figuring out which policies and practices take precedence. Each fragment cannot be implemented in isolation, to ensure the effective management of the human as a resource, it requires the bundled implementation of all that constitutes HR which includes employee relations, recruitment and selection, performance management and reward systems, and training and development. If you ask me. HR in Ghana needs a lot of readjustments and restructuring.