HR Automation, Employee Engagement
Over the past two decades, human innovation has fuelled the dramatic increase in productivity, followed closely by the streamlining of processes and the effective application of technology to increase consistency of activity at a lower per transaction cost. However, the greatest technology solutions and most perfect processes are worthless if you have people who don’t care about either of them.
Many forward-thinking companies are turning to process improvement solutions and realising significant cost savings across a number of business areas, as well as increased employee engagement thanks to the power of automation alongside workers who really want to get the most done with the resources they currently have.
To begin, ask questions like:
- Who works at my company?
- What do I know about the work they do?
- Why do they work here?
- I hired some of these people – why?
- Are the employees in my company equipped to perform their job the best way possible?
- If not, is there an external factor making that standard?
A Dale Carnegie Training program refers to most workers as “highly skilled, technically savvy order-takers”. This is especially true in high-tech environments with a strict policy and procedure adherence.
Is this really what you want in your company? Let’s examine some of the aspects of engagement that are a direct benefit to the customer and the organisation simultaneously.
The Reality of the Departmental Divide
Companies are often broken up into different departments or teams – accounting, HR, and IT are the three most common found across multiple industries.
In today’s fast-moving business world, departments are often expected to:
- Be relevant to the organisation’s overall strategy
- Do more with fewer resources – faster, better, cheaper
- Add value to the company rather than merely acting as a commodity function
- Find new and innovative ways to help create a competitive advantage for the company
- Reduce overall “legacy” infrastructure
As companies are moving in this direction, the employees are often pressured to accomplish these goals in stringent time lines and with more accuracy than their predecessors. After all – things ended up the way they are now as a direct result of the person that was here before them, right?
The fastest way to ensure that employees are able to participate and engage with the company’s line of business (and their clients) is through trust. Trust inside of an organisation can be broken down into three simple concepts:
- If I don’t trust you, I will not view you as credible nor will I respect you.
- If I don’t respect you, I will not see you as credible or trustworthy.”
- If I don’t find you credible, I will not trust or respect you.
Trust in the Organisational Setting
Often several phases occur as trust, credibility, and respect are achieved. It’s important to pay attention to them with employees and management alike as interactions occur inside of a company:
Establishing a basis for trust begins with the earliest interactions, including one’s sociability and professionalism, as well as responsiveness to questions and requests for information. If you’re too busy to respond in a timely or appropriately professional manner, you may have already started to unintentionally portray yourself as transactional. Executives make snap first impression based upon the first time one interacts with them. Given this context, it is vital that professionals who want to succeed, dress, act and respond in a “business manner” that is consistent with a “high performer” in the business.
Communication and interpersonal skills – so critical at this stage – unfortunately can atrophy for professionals who don’t consciously work to improve and maintain these abilities. Quite often, a lack of interpersonal skills negatively impacts one’s professional confidence. This lack of confidence is then manifested in ineffective personal interactions. Many modern workers depend on electronic interactions rather than engaging business people in face-to-face interactions which encourage debate, innovation and consensus building. A valued business partner or employee must comfortably adjust to each type of interaction necessary in making a business contribution as opposed to simply offering a technical contribution.
Based on positive impressions and interactions, others will begin to reach out for advice and direction in the worker’s area of expertise. Listening is particularly important for these subject-matter experts, since being the expert doesn’t mean talking a lot – it means asking the right questions, listening, and tailoring solutions to the client’s needs.
The highest compliment for a technologist is when they are truly consulted for their help and input when a critical business issue arises. As a valued business partner, they participate in strategic discussions and are on the ground floor of new initiatives. They may even provide referrals outside their area of expertise to help achieve the organisation’s strategic objectives.