Saturday, February 2, 2013

Engaging the Engagers!

My discussions on this blog stem from the many observations and conversations that my profession as an HR enables me to have with wide diaspora of people. On a certain day, I was having an informal conversation with one of my colleagues. Then sprung a series of topics and activities related to HR. Suddenly he quipped, " We need to take care of the world's engagement (employee engagement he meant) but who takes care of our engagement?" His question provoked a lot of thoughts but no instant reaction or answer.

There is a lot of enshrouded truth in what my friend mentioned. I have come across a lot of HR professionals who are low on motivation. And if that is the case, how can a disengaged employee take the onus of keeping other employees engaged? While this thought presents a serious concern, extremely critical is the question - 
Whose baby is the 'Engagement of HR Folks'?

There is no contention to the fact that successful HR professionals are highly self motivated individuals and have internal locus of control.However, motivation is like a fuel which drives ability to achieve goals. And like any other fuel, this fuel is also not perpetual. Sometimes the sense of accomplishment in terms of thrusting business results drives motivation and at other times building employee capabilities crusades the will to keep going. But, coming back to the original concern - Who is necessarily responsible for HR's motivation? Deriving out of my experience so far, CEOs in any organization play an important role in motivating the HR team. It is CEOs vision of the organization which moulds HR as a function which then moulds the organization.Besides, reverse recognition (from employees) also acts as a latent engagement driver.

While keeping the HR team engaged is off the books in several organizations, it can have severe repercussions for the organizations in the times to come. HR acts as a central node for building the workforce capabilities and thereby synthesizing organization.Failure of this node can lead to organizational catastrophe. The idea is not to paint out an apprehensive picture but present a perspective that a veiled systemic concern is being ignored and needs to be acted upon.I, in my capacity ensure that relevant stakeholders are informed on the engagement levels of the members of our HR team and proactive measures are taken. I see this aspect finding mention as a KRA not only in manager's performance matrix but also of the CEOs.

Would love your inputs and insights on this topic and any programs commenced in your organizations to Engage HR Teams.

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