How do you get your crew to feel inspired, recognised and enabled in a changing employment landscape that keeps them on the back foot? Read on for some employee engagement insider tips…

Being an HR Director or Change Management Head of a South African company means you have to foresee and guide your valued employees towards big-picture change, while still ensuring the day-to-day cogs are oiled to keep everything ticking over.

Quite the tall order, right? Especially since rapid change is everywhere. Everything from social upheavals to technological advancements and competitive disruption has South African employees in a perpetual state of adaptation that can cause them to feel disorientated and undervalued. Employee engagement studies are showing a decline in engaged employees with 32% of employees engaged and 18% actively disengaged.

So, how do you get your crew to feel inspired, recognised and enabled? Here are a few guidelines that will help you keep your house in order:

Don’t try to paint by numbers

Being aware of engagement numbers within your organisation is all good and well, but it’s important to remember that your employees are individuals who won’t fit into a numbers-based mould no matter how badly you want them to. If you truly want to be effective in your engagement attempts, you need to get down on grassroots level and learn what your work force needs as humans, not as HR files. Once you get down to these all-important brass tacks, it becomes easier to see how you can remove barriers and build the skills to unleash untapped potential.

Listening needs to be followed by action

Continuous listening can be a game-changing tool in the HR and employee retention arsenal, but if you don’t put that wonderful feedback to good use you might as well have started the world’s most discouraging game of Chinese Whispers. The key lies in being ready to take continuous action before implementing a continuous listening strategy. Be sure that your company has the structures and capacity to create the change that your employees require before offering them the platform to do so. Once you show your crew that you can back up all that listening with some actual individualised action, you’ll be well on your way to checking that all-important continuous dialogue box.

Refrain from using tech for tech’s sake

The race to drive digital integration is ON. Smartphone tech is spreading at the speed of a Huffington post rumour, and companies are feeling the pressure to tap into the Internet of Things ASAP or risk looking like they’re stuck in the previous century. This is why you’ll find a whole lot of companies pressuring their tech teams to develop in-house apps and other systems that are ostensibly being put in place to streamline things, but just end up frustrating the ever-living daylights out of everyone involved. If you do want to go digital, be sure that you do so in a way that is purpose-driven, focussed, and makes your employees’ jobs easier, not more complicated.

Give your people the tools they need

Employees want to excel. There are very few individuals on this planet who won’t take you up on a working environment that makes the best use of their talents while bolstering the bottom line for the company that allows them to do so. As an HR Director or Change Management Head, it’s your job to listen to your team and figure out what they need to get to that sweet spot. This calls for a people-centric approach to leading, decision-making and processes that provide your team with the tools they need to channel evolving customer dynamics into fresh new products and services.

Everyone wants to play for the winning team, you just need to get them off the bench, so they can put points on the board.

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