An interesting research report by Deloitte. – ‘It’s 2008: Do You Know Where Your Talent Is?’ on talent engagement shows a widening gap in employee commitment across the globe.
The research bases itself on the premise that ‘the contest for human capital is evident everywhere, although the nature and significance of trends vary from country to country. Only those companies that win the hearts and minds of their top talent will be able to deliver value over both the short and long terms.’
While I firmly believe that cultural and economic shifts impact the way jobs and careers are viewed, the onus on engagement is a big responsibility of managers, succinctly described by the Gallup study and the book – First, Break All The Rules: What The World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman.
Communicating is a vital element in energizing a flagging workforce. The research points to overcoming information overload. Getting them to manage work and performance by providing the necessary tools is another way to motivate and engage.
The research proposes a model, – Develop, Deploy, Connect taking into account alignment, capability, performance and commitment. I personally feel the toughest element in the model to implement is the Connect link. Connecting calls for greater transparency and trust which employees must perceive. The model talks of connecting as in improving the quality of interactions and building networks – both essential elements of a social media perspective. So, does it mean social media efforts internally help build greater engagement?
Deloitte’s report quotes a couple of relevant survey inputs – a Conference Board study which highlights open, two way communication as one of the top three expectations of employers. Another study from MIT which reinforces the social engagement aspect – ‘people are five times more likely to consult a co-worker for information than a corporate system’. Today, it matters who you know and not just what you know, a shift from our earlier understanding of knowledge and importance within an organization.
These pointers are crucial for internal communicators – to remodel the way communication needs to get created, shared and viewed. Social media tools will play a defining role in building trust and transparency, drive engagement and help measure the impact of how employees view their employers.