Engaging Top-tier Executives is a High-level HR Responsibility
Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) understands that along with middle and lower level workforce, the top level has to be addressed by the Human Resources Department to create a balanced work culture.
When employee engagement is talked about, most people considerlower-level employees and middle managers. This workforce has minimal authority over daily tasks, is least job-secure, and tends to receive the lowest pay and benefits packages; which makes it most likely to be disengaged from work. As a result, engagement solutions to keep lower-level employees around are abundant.
Yet, while HR professionals devote the bulk of their energies to engaging this portion of the workforce, top-level executives tend to sufferin today’s time. Though they have greater responsibility and greater remuneration for their efforts, these executives can still disengage from their work, lowering their productivity, and endangering the entire business – including, workers at lower levels. However, the engagement solutions that work for lower-level employees rarely apply to higher-level business leaders. Therefore, HR professionals need an entirely different strategy for executive engagement.
HR typically does not pay much attention to top executives for particular reasons. Executives typically earn high salaries, and generally have more control over their schedules and tasks. Therefore, the monetary rewards & engagement strategies HR is most familiar with, do not work for such workforce.
Also, most HR representatives cannot relate to upper-level executives. HR professionals have more in common with low-level employees than such executives. Even though, HR representatives earn respectable salaries and average benefits; they complete daily tasks that have little bearing on the greater goals and direction of the company. Only the CHRO and similar top-tier HR members ever interact with executives. Thus, few members of HR can comprehend the lifestyle and struggles of working in the higher levels of an organization.
The first step to engaging these executives is understanding them. It is important to consider that although executives might boast different responsibilities, they are still human. As such, they experience stress and concern for their jobs, their subordinates’ jobs, and their families’ well-being. Further, executives have interests and hobbies, they consume media, and they take pleasure in small joys like everybody else. Remembering this, HR should find it easier to empathize with higher-level workers.
It might also be useful to know what executives discuss with one another. Alongside infrequent discussions about business direction and organization design, executives lament their tight schedules and intrusive meetings, gossip and chat about mutual acquaintances and people within the organization, and generally talk about what work needs to be done. A savvy HR professional will note that their discussions are nearly identical to those of lower-level workers.
Aside from their wealth and authority, executives are not very different than other employees within a business. Therefore, HR professionals only need to determine what motivates individual executives to develop effective engagement tactics for them.
Some common higher-level motivators are:
- Need: Executives have finely honed talents, and they want to know their talents are integral for business success.
- Passion: Like everyone else, executives want to like what they do.
- Chemistry: Workplace culture is important; even executives want to like the people they work with.
- Challenge: Executives tend to be competitive. If a job isn’t challenging enough, most will disengage.
Developing engagement programs around executives is not difficult if it is known how simple and common their needs and wants truly are. To stimulate their need motivation, HR representatives can institute a thanksgiving day, where higher-level employees receive executive gifts. To improve chemistry around the office, HR can organize team-building exercises that are mandatory for the top levels.
Another useful tactic for engaging executives is to connect them more closely with their subordinates. While some high-level managers are naturally proficient at seeking out and befriending low-level employees, most executives maintain a boundary wall. HR should strive to coach executives in their behaviour toward lower levels, revealing their weak spots when it comes to leadership methods and results. HR should lead by example, placing people first and exemplifying how executives should interact with other members of the organization. If necessary, HR should encourage executives to enrol in leadership training courses; because reaching higher levels does not mean new skills and knowledge need not be acquired.
If an organization invests in its people, its peop