I enjoy organizing employee engagement programs. I was recognized by employees and they acknowledged my work when they made our office the best place to work for employee engagement.
I was doing an amazing job with employee engagement – or so I thought.
We decided to organize an extensive event at all of our office locations to celebrate a national holiday; we had offices spread across several cities throughout the country. I was busy with the coordination of the event at the central office where I worked and assigned various city office representatives to take care of programs at their respective locations.
In the middle of the event, I received a call from one of our employees from a city office location who asked, “Are we not fortunate enough to have the HR presence during the celebration day, or what?”
He made known to me his feelings of being neglected because there were not any HR personnel to organize the event at his office. Like any other employee, his intention was to inform me through constructive criticism. A reasonable demand of a normal employee, it is not necessary that a celebration day has to come around for us to visit our employees.
It hit me. I had made myself comfortable and played it safe by placing myself only where management team works.
From then on, I decided to travel to all the locations, move out of my comfort zone, reach out to the employees and be one among them. And I must tell you, until that moment these employees had known HR only through emails and other correspondence and I was really happy to see faces of people who I was familiar with only through phone conversations.
My HR visit to their offices was really an eye opening experience to me – and for them. By putting myself out there and moving out of my comfort zone, I gained an in-depth knowledge on how the whole business runs. I was able to understand the difficulties faced by employees at the grass roots level where the work is really done. I got to know where the real revenue was generated.
I got to know the employees and they got to know me. They were able to address their concerns directly to HR and get a quick resolution. There were reduced queries and concerns from employees, happier and more engaged employees and a renewed respect for HR.
So the bottom line is small company or large, on-site or off – make sure HR is easily accessible and the presence of HR is felt everywhere in the organization. Don’t spend too much time at your desk by sending mails and reading articles. Reach out to employees, spend time with them to understand their problems and concerns and proactively act on them before they have to approach you.
Don’t just think it . . . do it. Explore the opportunities that await you outside of your comfort zone.
Photo Credit: iStockphoto
About the author: Nisha Raghavan, is an HR professional with hands on experience in Talent Management and Talent Acquisition from Telecom Industry. Nisha shares her views and experiences in the HR field on her blog, Your HR Buddy . You can connect with Nisha on Twitter as @thehrbuddy.