This is one of a series of posts on employee engagement.
I see employee engagement as having two roles; as an end in itself and as a mechanism to achieve change.
As an end in itself, employee engagement serves to improve morale and enhance retention and recruitment. In that respect, the first role can be accomplished through leadership from the top and building momentum, both of which I’ve addressed in earlier posts from this series. But for the second role, as a vehicle to achieve change in support of the organizations overall CR objectives we need to harness that momentum.
Whereas building momentum calls for flexibility across business boundaries and what I termed ‘allowing the trivial’, harnessing momentum is the time to leverage this energy without losing it.
So, how do you harness momentum? I have used three interrelated approaches outlined below to help achieve this:
- How the Individual Fits - Help the individual understand how their contribution fits into the whole. Look for ways to draw a quantified linkage between action as an individual and the objectives of the organization. In an ideal world our people will know what activities have to occur, and by when, to meet corporate responsibility targets, so they can put their actions in context.
- Materiality – action on trivial impacts help build momentum. It is not necessary to stop those activities, but when harnessing the momentum it is the time to help people understand where the material business impacts are and how they can influence those impacts.
- Functional Application – challenge the business units in the company to examine how they can impact the organization’s sustainability objectives within their core business activities and use the feedback from that to breakdown the objectives into functionally appropriate targets and objectives.
Earlier this week I attended an office party in our
As corporate responsibility practitioners we must make sure that we harness this momentum to enable real change in underlying problems and not allow it to be a pressure release valve that enables us to allow the underlying problems to perpetuate.