Two hundred people….one day outing…a place not seen by many before….HR and facilities teams get busy planning the complex logistics… organizing committee visits the place to discuss and taste the menu for breakfast, lunch, snacks and so on. When two hundred becomes four hundred people, the effort becomes even more enormous and expensive; of course, the main objective behind all of this effort would be employee engagement – an undeniably important aspect for an organization!
But isn’t it true that engagement is much more than one outing and one lunch? How do we understand the deeper aspects of the same and go beyond the cosmetic photo ops? Moreover, the effects of one grand event may tend to fade over time. There has to be some other ways to achieve the same.
Research shows clearly the wide range of aspects that influence the extent of engagement. Prominent among them include communication, involvement, empowerment, recognition, appreciation, career discussion, trust, challenges, innovation, quality of relationships, learning opportunities and so on.
Given these many aspects to address, it is apt to say that employee engagement is a continuous process and not an event organized with outing and lunch. These events in the absence of deeper engagement come across as a very superficial and rather ‘routine’.
Who can play a role in engaging and enhancing the quality of engagement?
I see greater role for people managers; while HR team may provide an overall architecture! Aspects such as trust, empowerment, appreciation, recognition, involvement, and challenges can be factored into the relationship between the people manager and the team. Such engagement can be further enhanced through HR policies related to career, learning, recognition etc. A synergistic approach between the people managers and HR will go a long way in engaging employees beyond just an outing and lunch!