BEN MARTINEZ
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The People Of Walmart & The People Of HR Are The Engagement Problem

People Engagement The people of Walmart are the people of HR.  The people of Walmart are you and me.  I promise not to post a picture poking fun of the people of Walmart.  That joke is old and if you still send those emails then you are too.  As much as I hate Walmart, I still find myself in that store.

Anyways, employee engagement starts with you, the engagement expert who works in HR.  I would like to give credit to, Gerald E. Ledford, Jr., Ph.D, for his insights on employee engagement.  He got me started on this topic and below is my point of view on engagement, from an HR Hound's perspective.

Employee engagement is hot topic for HR pros in 2012.  How does a company engage its employees?  Who is the company? Is it a building? A magic wizard on the top floor of a building in a different state?  Last I checked the company is people.  When I hear leaders in a company say they plan to focus on engagement, I get anxiety.  Engagement rarely gets executed fully in a company.  It's akin to saying you plan to focus on making people enjoy exercising.  Good luck coach. The only person that can control that is the person who needs to exercise.

If you have an engagement problem, each person should be responsible to fix it.  If you have a weight problem, you should be the one to fix it.  Not your manager or HR.  Each employee of the company should set engagement goals each year.  One person in the company may have to send guidance on what the engagement goals should like.  That's where you, the HR expert comes into play.  Make sure you take your own medicine and create your HR engagement goals too.  Below is my list on what they might be for anyone:

  • Volunteer to do more.
  • Get fired up about fixing something that sucks.  This might be a bureaucratic HR process (hint: check your annual performance plan process...there usually room to improve here).
  • Find a person in your work area or different work area that needs help and help them.
  • Identify your passions and align them with your work.
  • Stop doing something you hate.  If there is a work task you hate.  Admit it.  Find a different or better way to do it.  Doing this task puts you in a bad mood.  People will like you better once you stop doing it.  Your productivity will increase too.
  • Build more trusting relationships with people at work.  Trust builds engagement and loyalty.  Better work relationships make the work place more productive. 

I just gave you a starting point.  Do not believe a magician is going to come by your office and make you engaged.  You are that magician.  Just like you are the people of Walmart, you are the people of HR who needs engagement too. People engage people, not programs.  What do you to stay engaged in your work?