Monday, June 16, 2008

How About Employer Engagement?

How often have you heard the words “employee engagement”? If you are like most HR Professionals, probably too often and to be frank, I think we may be putting the proverbial cart before the horse!

Let me explain…

The word “engagement” in our personal lives is a commitment two people make with each other. It’s a two way street! And I don’t believe a corporation can ever have great employee engagement if there is no real “employer engagement.”

Employees are usually considered engaged when they feel a strong emotional bond to their company. But who represents the company? It’s your managers and if they don’t reach out and make an emotional connection to employees, engagement just isn’t going to happen. In other words, it takes two to tango!

I believe there is far too much emphasis placed on employee engagement and not enough on employer engagement. The company and its managers must do more to engage their employees.

Future Shop is a company that gets it. A recent issue of detailed how Future Shop reaches out to employees with some very innovative benefits. One is the ability to go to university right at a store! How cool is that? Future Shop University provides leadership training to those who want to become general managers. Future Shop store managers receive increases that are partially linked to their employee’s engagement. Employer engagement works: turnover at Future Shop improved 10% over a two year period.

Employer engagement… try it. It works!

What do you think?