We Are In The Inspiration Business, Says Siddharth Reddy, MD, BI WORLDWIDE India
Workplace demographic across the globe is undergoing drastic changes with millennials joining the workforce, at a continually increasing rate.
Siddhartha Reddy, who is currently serving as the MD and India CEO has quiet an exciting prespective on how an organization is run. Quoting management Guru Peter Ducker he explains what Employee Engaements activities mean for BI Worldwide. In a candid interview with BW people, Siddharth talks about how he keeps his employees motivated, the struggles of working with millennials and a significant shift in workplace engagement.Edited Excerpts from his interview:
Employee engagement is more important now than ever. Do you think it should be one of the top priorities for any company?
Management Guru Peter Drucker was quoted saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” which means that no matter how great your corporate strategy is, it is your culture – i.e. what your people believe and how they behave which will ultimately determine the organisation’s success.Therefore, employee engagement, undoubtedly, should be a priority for organisations today, as it’s both a necessity and means to success. At its simplest, organisations that engage effectively with their employees, can expect to be rewarded with better performance. The right employee engagement approach indirectly prompts employees to give their best each day at work, stay aligned with organsiational goals and values, and commit to uphold them. Employee engagement is about promoting positive attitude and behaviours that propel a business forward, as much as it is about employees experiencing a sense of pride and ownership in their work and exhibiting loyalty towards the organisation.
Can technology help in keeping employees engaged and motivated? How?
Today, technology is a way of life, and brings with it the ease of any time, anywhere access. Interestingly, that is also what employers vie for when it comes to employee engagement – to engage with employees authentically, when they’re in and outside the office. Throw in the ease of use of technology and scrapping the manual work involved otherwise, and it only sweetens the deal further. The big data and analytic capabilities of technology, when integrated with engagement platforms, further help identify opportunities and develop strategies that make for a stronger employee value propositions. The better the proposition, the better the response; at the end of the day, employees reciprocate as they receive.
How important are recognition policies at the workplace? Does it have an effect on employee morale and work?
Simon Sinek once said, “Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.” At BI WORLDWIDE, we are in the inspiration business. An organisation can bring out the best in their employees simply by inspiring them to excel and inspire others.
A well designed and executed Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a crucial catalyst in boosting talent attraction, engagement, and retention. An effective EVP is built on the foundation of a persuasive engagement strategy which primarily uses rewards and recognition to let employees know that they matter to the organisation. Of course, for an employee engagement and incentive program to meet its end goal, it needs to be relevant, consistent, and an on-going process rather than just an occasional burst of activity. There are various approaches that can be taken to engage employees based on the needs and requirements of each organisation. What is common to all engagement approaches is to improve workplace motivation by tapping into what motivates each employee and thereby boost their morale.
With millennials in the workplace does it change the engagement game?
Workplace demographic across the globe is undergoing drastic changes with millennials joining the workforce, at a continually increasing rate. The growth of millennials in the workplace has indeed called for a significant shift in workplace engagement policy as the needs, desires and motivations of millennials differ distinctly from that of older generations. These desires and motivations are driven by the changing environment. Technology-powered recognition and experience-focused rewards are a good place to begin, if you want to up your millennial workforce engagement game.
Do millennials prefer experiential rewards; rather than materialistic rewards?
Experiential rewards give millennials an opportunity to explore their interests, adding meaningful value to their life. Millennials are highly individualistic, while experiences play a vital role in shaping identity, making them the perfect fit for each other. In fact, it’s found that millennials would rather spend their money on travel, events, and experiences than property or investments. In recent times, employee engagement has moved beyond cash-based rewards and incentives to activity and experience-based rewards, accommodating millennials who are slowly but increasingly dominating the workforce. Experiential rewards appear to be a promising employee engagement tool in eliciting the best behaviour and actions out of the millennial workforce.
Millennials are also sharing the workspace with an older generation. How can that generation still be relevant in this ever-changing workplace?
Older generations need to suspend the bias of their own experience when working with millennials. Once they are able to get past this, a multi-generational workforce aligned towards common objectives and values is truly the secret sauce. The wealth of knowledge and experience the older generation brings to the table coupled with an energetic, open-minded, risk-loving younger generation can create undoubted success in any organisation.