This is a guest article by Sheila Bouman.
Technology has changed our world—from the way we work to the way we play and everything in between. For most companies, the human resources function is no exception. New and innovative technologies have allowed us to streamline the management of human resources like never before. Today as we manage payroll, vacation requests and even performance reviews through online portals it’s easy to forget about the human part in human resources.
While technology can help us get more done, it can also make us feel disconnected from the people and places we work for—something that can be detrimental to an organization’s bottom line. Employee engagement plays an important role in the success organizations of all shapes and sizes as feeling like a valued part of an organization will translate to job performance.
Focusing on human interactions in the workplace can help increase employee engagement. Here are four ways you can make your organization more human:
- Take care of your employees. Being a human company means taking care of employees so they can do and be their best. Employees need support, not just a desk, a computer and a phone. This means creating the right conditions for people to find balance, learn, grow and make a difference. Taking care of employees can mean offering a generous benefits package, fitness reimbursement, flexible work schedules or fun appreciation and social events.
- Focus on face-to-face communication. Communication is the key to an engaged workforce. Face-to-face, human communication is one of the most meaningful forms of communication in the workplace. Train managers to have impactful conversations with their teams—whether they are speaking about day-to-day projects or the organization’s overall vision or strategy. If your organization has a number of smaller offices spread out across a large geographic area, consider having an “executive sponsor” for each office. This executive would be responsible for keeping employees plugged in and engaged, and give employees across all levels of the organization someone to speak to about questions or concerns.
- Develop leadership at all levels. Leadership is more than just a title or status; it reflects a person’s innate desire to have a positive impact on people. Recognize that leadership is an essence that exists in all your employees, not just upper management or the C-suite. Empower employees at all levels within your organization to express their full leadership potential.
- Reward behaviors, not just results. Meeting sales targets is great and definitely recognition-worthy. However, rewards and recognition should be used not just to celebrate results, but to recognize the behaviors that lead to those results. Those targets wouldn’t have been met if it wasn’t for exceptional customer service and teamwork. By using a variety of programs—both formal and informal, large and small—you can create a culture of celebration.
Sheila Bouman is Chief People and Performance Officer at PEER 1 Hosting, a leading provider of global IT infrastructure. PEER 1 Hosting’s vision is to be the most human company on the Internet. In 2012, PEER 1 Hosting was named one of Achievers 50 Most Engaged Companies for 2012 and ranked one of the top 25 Best Places to Work in the United Kingdom.