HR Matters - Spring 2014 - (Page 28)

HR Feature T P Employee Engagement By Mike A. Cuma Mike A. Cuma is an executive-level human resources and labour relations professional, with over 30 years of experience. Mike serves as Pinnacle's Vice President of Human Resources and Labour Relations. He may be reached at From our own experiences, we know that when we feel committed to our organization, we are willing and prepared to put forth greater discretionary effort. 28 HR matters * Spring 2014 W hat can make all the difference in the success of a company? The workforce the people who are the company. Time and again, research has shown that employees who are engaged significantly out-perform work groups that are not. To gain competitive advantage where employees are the key differentiators, employee engagement is the ultimate goal. What is Employee Engagement? Seasoned leaders and human resource specialists can visit a workplace and quickly spot the tell-tale signs of a workforce that is not engaged. The signs are obvious and easy to spot. Some of the indicators might include poor housekeeping, unsafe conditions, unrepaired damage to equipment and facilities, vandalism, evidence of frequent product rework or rejection due to quality deficiencies, and the appearance of a lack of overall order or neglect. Other indicators may not be readily apparent during a limited workplace visit, such as poor product or service quality, employee absenteeism and turnover, high frequency of workplace injuries, limited communication and in the worst cases, workplace conflict. Ultimately workplaces with low levels of employee engagement are easy to spot. Employee engagement, however, is not simply about the absence of apparent workplace dysfunction or disorder. The Conference Board of Canada defines employee engagement as "a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization, that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work." In short, it's about the extent to which employees care about and are committed to the success of the organization. Why Does Employee Engagement Matter? Ask people who have been in the workforce for a number of years about the best organization they have worked for. You will hear statements like, "we all gave it 110 per cent and we felt good about what we accomplished," "my efforts were recognized and appreciated," and "I felt good about the company and what it stood for." From our own experiences, we know that when we feel committed to our organization,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Matters - Spring 2014

HRMAM Chair’s Message
Upcoming HRMAM Events
HR Special Event: Excellence in Leadership Awards Recipients
Learnings from Our Governance Review Retreat
Building an Effective Safety Culture
HR & Business: Hiring Foreign Workers? Take the Right Steps
HR & Business: Finance-led Capitalism, Pensions, and Financial Crisis
HR Review: The Respect Effect
Workplace Bullying: Do You Have Honest and Strong Boundaries?
HR & Law: Just Cause Under The Employment Standards Code: Have You Got What It Takes?
The Pursuit of Employee Engagement
HR Movers and Shakers

HR Matters - Spring 2014