Forget office slides and ping pong tables, employee engagement should be about relationships and long-term enrichment…
Employers are doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things in the name of employee engagement.
US tech giant Google with its “chief happiness officer” and slides installed between office floors to make moving around more “fun” is a case in point.
In a bid to unleash creative energy and boost motivation, I have heard of tree houses and helter-skelter slides in the “chill out room”.
I’m starting to feel, dare I say it… old and ….sceptical,
Employee Relations, Personnel, Human Resources, People Services or whatever you want to call me, I have always operated on the basis of building relationships and understanding what makes people tick is far more important than external stimuli.
It’s like when you want a piece of cake and you’re on a diet: what’s the saying “a moment on your lips a lifetime on your hips. It’s a short-term benefit and believe me “my hips don’t lie”!
So, if we equate this to “faux fun” culture will the benefits be equally short lived?
Does the fact that you use a fireman’s pole to get to reception mean that you resonate with the mission and values of the organisation that you work for any more than taking the stairs?
For some, I agree, this may attract you to a Company; it’s cool and different but will it make an individual work harder? Does it in any way fundamentally change your work experience?
I am always interested in human motivation and behaviour, and how engagement can be sought from making people feel positive, empowered, enthusiastic and energised.
Understanding what people VALUE is key to this. For some, yes, its money; for others it’s flexible working hours to do the school run, career progression, a decent manager?
Yes, you can buy people but you can’t buy, demand or command loyalty. Loyalty is a two-way street. Employers need to foster loyalty with their employees, by making them believe in a vision.
In a survey of companies with the highest amount of employee turnover, guess which trailblazing exemplar of world class employee-centricity came in second? None other than Google.
All of which just goes to show, as the Beatles once said, “money can’t buy you love….”