Altruism for business leaders and companies is no more just an attribute, but a requirement to keep employees fully engaged and help the organisation to realise its wider goals. Conventional employee engagement methods are no longer sufficient to maintain a healthy connection between employees and organisation.
It should not just be left to the human resource departments to take this responsibility, but the entire leadership quadrant must have the mettle to engage their teams. While HR teams can manage routine grievances and counselling needs, it is up to the bosses at every level to co-own this responsibility. Their engagement is not just about work performances but the need to adopt more inclusive participation.
Building trust among the colleagues is a requirement that all managers need to achieve. For the employee to have faith in their bosses, the company’s strategy and values need to be aligned with the principles of altruism. It is not just for the CEO to adopt altruism ... the company as a whole to needs to embrace it.
In any organisation, it is the manager who needs to rise to be both mentor and guide. They have to adapt themselves through continued self-development of relevant capabilities and personality traits this role demands.
To achieve such a stature, the executives in these positions have to connect with employees at a more personal level. The staff must be able to differentiate their manager from that of a preacher to one who walks the talk. All employees must be able to seek counsel in their superiors and not fear any reprisals from any disclosures they might have made.
Bosses need to strengthen their core values to be able to demonstrate the stature of a real leader. There are salient approaches that differentiate leaders from followers. Not just through overtures like getting to know them by name, but in knowing everything about the employees, their health, family, and even finances. No, this is not an indulgence but a much-needed effort often ignored by leaders and organisations.
It is equally essential that organisational values concerning leadership — especially those that focus on the inclusivity element — are retained while the company is in a transformative mode. The communication strategy from the board has to be emphatic to ensure that all policies are well articulated across all levels.
All developments such as board changes, any management restructuring, acquisitions, and outstanding contributions of unsung heroes must be highlighted across the organisation. A company must build an effective communication strategy based on inclusivity and not just media showcasing. It must not focus only on an external audience to support the brand, but cater to its internal channels to boost employee engagement.
Initiatives on employee engagement in context for organisations with a sizeable blue-collar population is a pressing need. To gain their trust is of utmost importance as their self-actualisation goals are quite different and complex from white-collar staff.
Their concerns about living conditions, family connectivity, and finances are paramount to building an apt engagement strategy. Encouraging health and well-being awareness, supporting financial planning and discipline among the less privileged employees are initiatives that can significantly influence employees engagement and inspiration.
The writer is Group CEO at EFS Facilities Services Group.