14
ISSUE 22
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NEWS UPDATES
Employee Engagement
By. Ketty Arucy
It has been observed that while systems
and processes are believed to have great
impact on organizational performance
and output, the aitude of organizational
leadership plays a critical role in
determining the outcomes. Managers make
decisions that can aect organizations
positively or negatively. Indeed, the real
value of any organization does not lie in
technical expertise but in the established
management skill set and leadership style.
e Deloie East Africa survey released in
July 2015 shows that absence of employee
engagement is the leading challenge facing
organizations today. is demonstrates
that the balance of power in corporate
organizations has shied from the
employer” to the Employee. In their article
“Building a Service Oriented Agency,
Mckinsey & Company observe that the 21st
century leaders must systematically partner
with the most important stakeholder: “the
employee”.
Quote:
Agencies cannot assume that government
employees will stay in the same job or even
stay in government- their entire careers. e
most forward-thinking agencies recognize
the importance of employee development:
providing mentoring, training, both for
horizontal and vertical growth opportunities,
and recognition. Leaders of the 21st century
agencies will identify job areas that require
re-skilling and ensure that employees are
equipped to handle jobs of the next ve to ten
years.
is calls for a paradigm shi in
organization culture management
from “Personnel Administration” to
“Personnel Engagement”. e old culture
of “Dictatorship and “Boss Syndrome
has been overtaken by “coaching and
mentorship. Rather than rely on imposed
rules and regulations to achieve desired
output, corporate leadership is called upon
to understand employees’ sentiments and
job satisfaction needs to aract and retain
desired skills and talent.
Every organizations has a dream in form
of a ‘Vision’ and expectations outlined
as ‘objectives’ in the strategic plan which
cannot be achieved without eective team
and team leadership. Hodges denes a
dream as a compelling vision that is too big
to accomplish without the help of others.
John Maxwell says;
Some people have a dream but no team-
their dream is impossible. Some people
have a dream but a bad team- their dream
is a nightmare. Some people have a dream
and are building a team- their dream has
potential. Some people have a dream and a
great team- their dream is inevitable.
Eective teams are built through positive
employee engagement. Employees can be
likened to sheep and cale. Sheep require
tending with clear boundaries to protect
them from wild animals that prey on them
or may fall o the cli. Cale just do ne
when they are given good grazing ground
and le alone. To achieve your vision as
an employer, you must know the people
you work with; whether they are partners,
patrons, bosses, colleagues, clients or
critics. People need to be identied and
managed according to their talents and
their temperament. e point is, what
kind of people belong to your team? In the
bible, Moses needed Joshua and Naomi
needed Ruth. e idea of self-made person
is a myth. Whether they accept it or not,
all successful people had help at one time
along the way. It is only when you admit
that you need help that you start looking for
it. is is a crucial step in achieving success.
e next step is knowing peoples strength
and weaknesses and communicating your
vision to them in such a way that they buy
into it (policy articulation), bring out the
best in them and reward them. e Public
Service therefore must embrace positive
management culture that calls for:
a) Responsibility
People are naturally creative, enjoy
contributing and like to have a
measure of control over the workload.
While being le alone without
positive feedback or suggestion for
improvement may inhibit people
from taking responsibility, managers
who bully, criticize, humiliate and
micro-manage sta undermine the
sense of responsibility. is adversely
aects employee engagement. Positive
management culture provides a blame-
free work environment, enhancing
self-belief.
b) Self Belief
Like a child learning to walk is allowed
to learn by falling down, praised
for every positive achievement and
comforted when he/she gets hurt,
employee self belief can be reinforced
by a simple word of praise on successful
achievement and encouraging words
like “you have the potential”, “try again
or “you can do beer with more eort.
c) Blame-free Work Environment
Supervisors should understand
the fact that human beings learn
through making mistakes. A positive
work environment is realized where
people are allowed to make their own
individual progress through trial and
error; from the CEO to the junior-
most recruit. e Leadership and
Integrity Act, 2012 and Chapter 10 of
the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 on
‘National Values’ endeavors to create
a positive workplace culture where
people are given space to experiment, a
measure of support, clear guidelines of
what is expected of them, suggestions,
managers who act as good role models
and appropriate training for the job
to achieve high standard performance
and professionalism in service delivery.