Why and how to create inclusiveness in long-tail countries
In a modern working environment, there would always be that traditionalist who brings up the subject of “Silence in the workplace” being one of the reasons that affect productivity. While silence at work is supposed to help generate ideas, increase productivity, and improve restraint, it has its own baggage. Silence can never come at the expense of effective communication and engagement. This could easily seep into an organization sabotaging motivation, enthusiasm, and camaraderie, allowing small setbacks to snowball for bigger problems.
Many organizations confuse having an open bay policy with one of a dynamic workspace that could possibly defeat a quiet office. A healthy workspace is one that encourages productive conversations and fosters challenges between teammates. Being informed of decisions and results means that employees will rarely feel left out.
Organizations that strive to create inclusiveness strive to provide context to the communications made and largely focus on the impact that organization-level events could have on an employee. As the popular saying goes – hearing from horses, whether through a floor announcement, formal meeting, or annual event, adds a certain degree of inclusion to an employee. .
If you are in the HR department and have accepted everything you have read so far, I am sure you would also agree with the following. While you can institutionalize measures to increase communication and employee engagement in the premises where you are located, ensuring the same levels of engagement in a center where you do not have HR representation could be a challenge.
Lack of HR staff
The offices of multinational companies operating in long-tail regions are generally characterized by a very low number of employees and are often not staffed with HR staff. And then there are your remote employees, who usually don’t have a regular seat at the lunch table to discuss workplace events. Not having an HR SPOC capable of actively monitoring the pulse of employees and constantly overcoming the deafening silence could become a challenge in itself! So how do organizations cope with this scary monster?
Some key suggestions
Here are some concoctions they could brew in their HR lab.
1. Have the right tools
Technology, in all its aspects, plays an important role in bringing the world together, and an employee is no different. Distance and connectivity are no longer barriers that make HR engagement impossible, but rather are bridged by applications that initiate automated workflows, alerts and notifications through HR modules. As you can agree, such solution implementations could extend to other organizational functions / departments as well. Implementing such solutions would reduce employees from having to do the dreaded email follow-ups and focus on other engaging activities.
2. Act on comments
Nothing disappoints an employee more than their unheard voice. Organizations are proud to collect feedback, but most do not respond. Feedback received becomes meaningful when actionable items are defined and resolved. Companies offer proprietary survey solutions integrated with dedicated employee support services that help define and track action items, while keeping stakeholders informed of progress.
3. Recognize, where it counts
Having a good recognition program is essential, not only in terms of monetary benefits, but also recognition of an employee’s contribution. Recognition is one of the main influencing factors that drive employee engagement. Creating digital forums where employees can like each other is one way to encourage public recognition and appreciation.
4. Keep them up to date
HR departments are ideally placed to liaise with departments and structure event announcements across the organization. An accomplishment from one team can always motivate the other and creating a culture where employees in certain regions do not feel “left in the dark” will promote inclusion within the organization.
5. Training and development
Providing the right learning platforms would reflect an organization’s intention to invest in an employee and their collective future. Virtual training and assessment programs serve as validation to assess an employee’s growth not only in their career, but also as a window to provide new opportunities to broaden their horizons, thus increasing their self-esteem. ‘an employee within the organization.
These are a few steps you can consider to challenge the silence in your workplace and foster engagement, especially among long-tailed employees.
The writer is CEO – Neeyamo