Firms urged to enhance employee engagement
To boost productivity and sustain profitability, organisations have been urged to devise means of making their employees happy and contented.
Experts in the academia, business and human resources made the call at the Work and Family 2018 conference organised by the Institute of Work and Family Integration (IWFI) with the theme: ‘Humanistic management and employee experience’.
Leading the call at the event, which was at its 5th edition, the chief Executive Officer and Founder, Providential Ltd, Helsinki, Finland, Santiago Martinez stressed the need for employees to find happiness at work adding that it’s the responsibility of the employer to ensure that employees are happy.
‘‘Work obviously is an important part of our everyday lives. We usually dedicate about 30-40 percent of our lives to work. So, if we just look for happiness during the weekends, we are losing about 30-40 percent of our happiness,’’ Martinez said.
‘‘Everyone should aim at happiness and try to achieve happiness at work not only because a satisfied employee is more likely to be more efficient and effective, an employer has to strive to make the employees happy because they deserve it. It’s a human right and an employer is responsible for the employees for many hours a week and that’s why it’s the moral obligation of employer.’’
Martinez, who delivered a lecture on ‘Virtuous leadership and Humanistic management’, said practitioners need to develop their work places and environment that add values to society and pay a tribute to human dignity at work.
In his welcome address, the chairman of IWFI, Engineer Charles Osezua, who was represented by Patrick Irurhu said the conference aimed at looking beyond the performance management system by examining the impact of policies and the environment on the people and next generation of workers.
‘‘With the continued economic recession in Nigeria, there is need for organisations to find creative ways to boost their businesses and keep their employees fully engaged and happy at work,’’ he said.
‘‘There has also been an increased recognition by organisations on the need to pay close attention to their employer experience in the work place and how it affects their productivity or lack of it.’’
Dean of Lagos Business School, Enase Okonedo, who was represented by Dr Chris Ogbeche said the theme of this conference is apt, in an environment that is fast losing with human touch.
‘‘The marketing people have taught us, that when they invest in building and creating pleasant customer experience, they see significant improvement in the company’s performance.
‘‘If we invest in enhancing experience, we will also benefit from the improvement in company performance”, he added.
According to him, most present-day companies are looking at creating shared values for the company, employee and the society.
He said: ‘‘They are no longer thinking of how do we maximize profit but how do we actualise profit by having employees that are fully engaged and have pleasant experience in working in the organisation but also by ensuring that social objectives of the company are also met.’’
Speaking on the topic, ‘Employee experience and meaningfulness at work’, Founder, Dame Institute for Research, Prof Franca Ovadje, said a great office experience for employees would show in their productivity in the office.
‘‘If employees find meaning at work, they are happy and this joy overflows to their family and colleagues. So, we are making the organisations and also our family happier,’’ she said.
‘‘Let the organisation be where everyone can flourish which in turn would impact positively on the company.’’
The Executive Director, Exxon Mobil, Udom Inoyo, who delivered a presentation on ‘Humanistic Management and employee experience: Impact of work and family’, commended the Institute for continually bringing to the fore issues which in the past where either considered unimportant or unknown.
‘‘We must quickly adjust our thinking given the emerging work dynamics. Work place has changed, just as the world has become increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous,’’ he said.
‘‘Sometimes, we run into issues that we think are peculiar to Nigeria. It’s not just Nigeria alone, they are global trends. The institute is providing us an opportunity for us to reflect on where we made mistakes and then take appropriate steps to correct them.’’