Recognizing Employee Engagement in the Workplace
Cavell Fraser, Vice President Human Resources, Libro Credit Union
There's a lot of talk about employee engagement these days, but how do we recognize these engaged employees and show appreciation for the things they do to support the company? It's not always easy to distinguish what exactly engagement in the workplace is, and it can be demonstrated differently depending on a person's role and the function of their company.
When I think of engagement, I consider it to be those behaviours and actions that warm the heart. I can picture specific employees I've worked with over the years and the behaviours I've witnessed that have touched me. And perhaps you've seen them too. These behaviours show that the employees care about the company, their coworkers, and the integrity of the company. They do this through their words and actions, both inside and outside the workplace.
See if you're familiar with the examples below of engaged employees.
The Need for Lean HR: Reinvent or RIP HR
Diane Wiesenthal, FCHRP, Corporate People Responsibility® Ltd, 2014
RIP HR. That will be the tombstone on the HR profession if we don't get our act together soon. Sadly it seems we just cannot agree on a unified national approach on the professional association front, or even in some provincial regions. It's no wonder that we lack the ability to move HR to the next level in business. What's most unfortunate is that as a profession that should be recognized for leadership, vision and collaboration, we are setting a very poor example. We've been talking about the same old tired things for years, if not decades. Hence we are still dealing with the age-old issues of ineffective people management practices and the real value that HR can add to expedite business versus blocking it by protecting the institutional shrine of outdated HR programs. Most of these programs are rooted in elaborate and complex administration (look how smart we are) and they are costly on many fronts. While we most certainly need to salvage and maintain some essential elements of the past, there is a renewed critical need to completely reinvent the HR profession to support and enable business today; otherwise tomorrow businesses will find a way to circumvent the HR profession or the HR department entirely. In fact, successful entrepreneurial businesses have already sped away from main stream HR. It's not that they don't value it, they are forging their own path.
Consequently there is real need to streamline or adopt "Lean HR" to profoundly shift our profession forward. The term "Lean" means to eliminate or minimize waste and drive efficiency, which is exactly what needs to be done with HR programs. I say this with certainty as I've lived in this world at virtually every level of the profession within organizations for over 40 years, and I have felt the effects first hand. The effects of using out dated tools and the toll it takes on our professional and personal lives, not to mention on our organizations and our people – it's staggering. Having lived through this for many decades, I now know, that you don't know what you don't know, until you know it. It's not that HR practitioners aren't working hard. In fact they are probably the hardest working crews in industry today – consumed and engaged almost entirely in organizational firefighting, 24/7. It's a smoking hot mess is what it is.