Friday, July 6, 2012

Find your TEE at your Workplace

TEE as I call it, expands for Transactional and Emotional Engagement of employees in an organization.

I recently got a chance to read the Employee Engagement 2.0 by Kevin Kruse, author of NY Times bestseller, WE: HOW TO INCREASE PERFORMANCE AND PROFITS THROUGH FULL ENGAGEMENT. I have to sincerely thank Kevin for being extremely kind and personally sending me the PDF copy of this book to me. 

While I highly recommend all the managers, those who report to them and those in the lines of becoming managers, to read this book as the first check item before stepping into your people management career, for those who want to chew it quick I am glad to point you to What is Employee Engagement and for those who are curious to know what makes me so highly appreciate this read - It’s the following five lines of thoughts I take the liberty to do a ctrlC+ctrlV from the book,
  1. A simpler way to think about Employee Engagement is this: Culture always trumps strategy.
  2. To win in the marketplace…you must first win in the workplace.
  3. Strategic options or Happier People? Engaged People!
  4. To lead, you have to care. You can’t fake it.
  5. You are responsible for the engagement of your team. Don‘t look Elsewhere
As Kevin puts it much beautifully,
‘If you care, you can drive engagement. But you do have to care’
When employees care—when they are engaged—they use discretionary effort. They go the extra mile, they give 110%, they go above and beyond which leads to more Satisfied Customers more Sales, more Profit, Higher Stock Share price and so on and so forth....
But what as a manager you do when you say (and if you say) you care? You probably put discretionary effort to engage them at work, do you?

Your employees are your assets, do invest in them. The phrase buzzes long way in Business and Corporate parlance. Investing in this context doesn’t mean moving from Web2.0 to Employee Engagement 2.0, it only means monetizing on team capital and the team capital is built by thoughtful investments in employees and their emotional involvement/commitment to their jobs.

Going by the House and Home analogy, house is what you live in to support an existence or co-existence and home is what you make it by laying the emotional bricks or painting the walls with your favorite colors. While employees feel quite impressed with corporate houses building corporate villages & cities, it’s possibly time for us to think of Corporate Homes. What does it take to build a corporate simply takes transactionally and emotionally engaged employees (read it as Teed employees).

If you are trustworthy, dependable and sensitive to employees and their issues (at work/out of work) you are a good manager regardless of whether or not you help them solve their work problems.  If you live in a state where your employees feel easy and necessary to confide in you, congratulate yourself because you have already placed the foundation bricks of a corporate home. I can’t be more sure about industries having millions of employees who see or want to see their workplaces as second homes and the culture of Corporate Homes is essentially what they need to get more engaged than ever.

One of my employers I have been fortunate to work for, said ‘Your manager is your HR manager’. 
Honestly, the immediate thought curled in my mind was – ‘may be the HR manager is on vacation’. Subsequently I learned, by saying and believing so they not only helped the employees trust, respect and freely depend on their managers but also made the managers feel more responsible for their employee’s engagement levels. The results were clear, measurable and admirable that the employees shared a greater bond with their managers and vice-a-versa, managers who couldn’t play an HR manager for their employees moved on and I am sure they appreciated to do it somewhere else.

While the blueprint of a great TEE (Transactional and Emotional Engagement) must be woven in the head of the organization, it needs to actually get knitted in layers - from the strategy makers to strategy inspectors to execution specialists, i.e from tips to the roots of the organizational tree. 

On the other hand there could be a lot of engagement developing and dwelling in seashells - the bottom up engagement - the much engaging energy that comes from self-motivated, self-assured and self-engaged employees who do not need the time, lessons and resources of employers to make them engaged, I would say they mark a bonus to the organizations' Tee initiatives and must be regarded for it because they are the folks who not only sport their self-woven tee but also take pride in offering it in all sizes to the peer groups, making it a great cost-benefit impact as the organizations don't have to sponsor for it to those teed herds. I feel an organization really needs to be arming and audacious to this lot so that the self-managed engagements don’t end up getting mismanaged or lead to disengagements.
The crux (and fate) of the TEE lies in the fact, whether the tips of the tree truly care for it, because they are the ones who need to be much thoughtful, receptive and willingly owning the employee engagement, because they are the ones who apart from dealing with a growing bottom line essentially define good or bad, less or more, narrow or broader TEEs and they are indeed the first ones to tee up to prevent the healthy buds taking a fall.

While Kevin’s book would be an apple for thought that is sure to keep the doctor away, I am hoping my trailing thoughts to add as a bowl of cranberries in your breakfast, dear HR.

Attribution : Employee Engagement 2.0 by Kevin Kruse We: How To Increase Performance And Profits Through Full Engagement by Kevin Kruse