Teach Middle East Magazine Apr - Jun 2020 Issue 3 Volume 7 - Page 16

Sharing Good Practice LEVERAGING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT TO MAXIMISE ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE BY: MURAD SALMAN MIRZA It is therefore prudent to take a deeper dive into the broader spectrum of ‘engaged’ employees for formulating talent management strategies that have a higher probability of ‘real’ success, rather than, being dismissed as ‘icing on a rotting cake’ by cynical employees. This is also necessary since employee engagement is gravitating towards a more ‘purpose-driven’ display of ‘altruistic professionalism’ from the commonly recognisable ‘affective’ manifestation of organisational citizenship behaviour as organisations seek a finer mix of AI- driven automation with fewer number of employees in achieving desired operational efficiencies. P rogressive organisations are increasingly focusing on refining their talent management strategies to effectively manage a multigenerational workforce for staying relevant and competitive in the Digital Age. An essential aspect of such initiatives is to have a higher number of engaged employees who are intrinsically driven to go beyond the call of duty in assuring and ensuring supreme organisational performance. However, the exuberance associated with seeing buoyant engagement in the workplace and high ratings on employee surveys can be misleading. The perfunctory urge to put up positive metrics on fancy HR Dashboards reflecting strong employee engagement to please senior management often comes at the expense of intelligent employees who tend to maintain a ‘dignified silence’ over thorny issues that might get them caught in the ‘crosshairs’ of fidgety senior management. They generally adhere to the idiom of ‘fake it till you make it’, which is robust enough to 16 Term 3 Apr - Jun 2020 withstand ‘open-door policies’, ‘candid employee surveys’, ‘informal chats with peers’, and incentivised corporate forums for pointing out profound challenges. The aforementioned aspect is further exacerbated by the propensity of progressive organisations to start ‘requiring’ employee engagement, rather than, ‘expecting’ it as a natural offshoot of an enterprising culture based upon robust values. This has the downside of becoming a job specification which brings ‘shrewd actors’ into play who are enticed by the external motivation of gaining associated rewards and recognition. Consequently, the ‘glamorization’ of employee engagement often eclipses the ‘voluntary initiatives’ of the ‘truly engaged’ employees who are driven by the primary intrinsic motivation of ‘doing good’ as an affirmation of their exemplary professionalism. This type of cajolery employee engagement often increases the ‘blind spots’ of a ‘placated’ senior management and fuels ‘false hope’ of smoothly running a ‘crumbling’ organisation. Class Time The following are the five key types of ‘engaged’ employees that are commonly found within most organisations: The Angel This employee is a rare gem and assiduous by nature. He/she is an embodiment of goodness regardless of the presence of an informal/formal engagement program/initiative by the leadership. He/she is intrinsically driven to excel in the workplace and is always willing to go the extra mile that endears him/her to peers and customers/clients. Astute leaders love to project them as standard- bearers of the workforce due to their steadfast professional commitment and unadulterated work ethics. They should be substantially empowered without the burden of micro- management. Special emphasis should be laid upon retaining such employees and cultivating them for leadership positions through timely and progressive capability enhancement while charting a clear course for career growth and development. Care should be taken to protect them from the acidic nature of organisational politics.