Employee Engagement ~ Architecture in Magnificence for Organisational Excellence

For a practicing learning and development professional in me, it was quite heart warming to take note of the fact that Infosys has once again demonstrated being a clear front-runner and an accomplished employer by establishing benchmarks in human capital management by considering the most crucial of all resources to be accounted for, in their balance sheet as an asset, albeit by calculating the ownership through ESOP.

All these while, I wondered on the tall claims of human capital to be considered and classified as an ‘asset’ and yet not being subscribed to, through the tedious empirical evidence and copious approaches being discussed and debated in plotting the contribution made by the human resource to the bottom-line of an organisation, notwithstanding the ROI by enumerating the ‘penny-spent-pound-realised’ by the organisation in the disguise of talent management. This is at-least the beginning.  

I firmly believe that the best of practices in ‘employee engagement’ currently in place with the matured organisations requires to be successfully replicated by the start-ups, emerging business and models and by the family owned business houses. These are not only the extension of successful execution of validated practices and ideas, but go a long way in creating employer’s branding as well. The aspiration of entrepreneurs with evolved belief on the need for drawing a relevance, strictly in context to their business; when it comes to ‘employee engagement’ will not only get them to realise the efficacy of the application but also getting to appreciate the business impact as an outcome.

Most the business and organisations are overzealously pre-occupied with creating standard operating practice manuals and hand-books in safeguarding the ‘execution risks’ and the ‘reputation risks’, when it comes to their human capital. There is a visible tendency of relegating the ‘engagement’ next only to ‘talent’ and in the process creating a disharmony of expectation between the end objective and the delivery.

Employee Engagement must necessarily precede Talent Management. It is imperative that the role is coherent enough to identify the role holder and his agreed deliverables and not the other way round. During the prosperous state of affairs in the economy and business environment, we have witnessed rampant and blatant flouting of this thumb-rule which could not survive the test of time at the face of business adversity. And the employees, who were once hailed as the leaders in making got dethroned in the process of ‘right-sizing’. What a colossal waste!

In the capacity of a business owner, entrepreneur or a manager, the role needs to be re-examined in isolation of accountability and responsibility. Instead recreate the architecture of being a ‘facilitator’ to the desired outcome, by extending support to the creativity of individual talents and teams by driving inclusive solutions in building sustainable agreements.
I would like to go about defining the DNA of an employee oriented and not necessarily an employee friendly organisation as following:

a)    Agree and accept human resource to be one of the critical stake-holders in real sense by making them party to business goals and the quantified outcome thereby, in order to instil a sense of accomplishment. The sense of accomplishment should ideally be followed by a transparent reward and recognition mechanism. Results are determinants of relationships. This has to be a conscious effort to be driven top down. This should not remain a mere ornamental obsession of the corporate communication or a banal and uninspiring disclosure at the annual general meeting and for that matter, a ploy to window dress the enterprise valuation for prospective investors.

b)     Continuous Empowerment of human capital through cross functional exposure, information sharing, wider knowledge universe and individual development plans so that there is a broad acknowledgement and appreciation of each and every function and role within the organisation and beyond the on-boarding and induction exercises. This can be created by building acceptance and rejecting prejudice.

c)    Building and promoting self-esteem as an Organisational Mandate while evaluating Performance. This helps in recognising individual brilliance in the top quartile, as a precursor to organised excellence and also in inspiring the mid and the bottom quartile to graduate closer to performance benchmarks. Incorrigible laggards must necessarily be shown the door; else they become a liability to performance and perfection. Recognise Performance to drive excellence.

d)    Consciously creating a culture of Feedback instead of Opinions within the organisation by being direct with people who value results, being receptive to people who value sincerity, being equally enthusiastic to the enthusiasts and by being reliable with people who value Quality.

e)      Stop Hearing and start Listening to People.


  1. http://www.peoplematters.in/articles/focus-areas-13/blogosphere-employee-engagement


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