Employee Engagement Techniques That Work

Every business aims to foster effective employee engagement in their workplace. How do you 275721 l srgb s gl 300x199 Employee Engagement Techniques That Worksuccessfully achieve this though? Employees spend a lot of time at work, it’s virtually a second home in some instances. While you want employees focused on the job at hand, they do need some downtime, to socialise with workmates and recharge the batteries. We spoke to Irene Chui, SAP APJ’s Employee & Community Engagement Specialist about effective engagement techniques, some of her initiatives, the importance of a social workforce and why employee engagement is everyone’s concern.

“When an employee tells you that SAP takes care of their beyond just numbers, it keeps me going. I can continue to do better especially with fantastic support from the management. It keeps me passionate about the job,” says Irene.

Q: How important is employee engagement to SAP?

Irene: We spend a huge percentage of our lives in the workspace. Having good work friends is important and it’s more than just giving employees a distraction from work. Employee engagement, not only increases work productivity, it increases job satisfaction and reduces job-related stress, which in turn helps improve our body coping responses to stress. And this, perhaps, leads to increased life expectancy.

Q: What are some of the employee engagement initiatives you’ve put forward at SAP?

Irene: We have various program pillars focused on the interaction between work, community, health and family. These are driven with a holistic approach in mind. Maintaining good health is critical and program’s like the monthly Lunch & Learn discuss and teach employees about important health issues. We also bring employees together via exercise with Corporate Challenges like triathlons and Futsal. Taking place on a quarterly basis Employee Networking Sessions bring together staff from all over the organisation for a drink and a chat. Employee engagement through volunteerism is a very successful initiative providing employees with an opportunity to give back to the community. It’s a program where you really see another side of our employees. Strengthening Family Bonding is another pillar, and we run events like Eat with your Family Day, Kids@Work and Family Movie Day to support it. On the Kids@Work days we have a group of employees who come together and create a program to teach the kids more about SAP – explain what mum or dad do. Through the planning and brainstorming that’s involved it’s a great way for employees to actually meet, get to know each other, and come up with something educational.

Q: How important is it to have a social aspect within the workplace?

Irene: All humans need that social space, otherwise they just burn out. We need that social and employee engagement in our workplace to make this environment a very holistic place to live in, a great place to work in. It’s your second home. You spend too much time in the office, right? So that’s the idea of employee engagement, it’s so you can do more than just work, you meet employee needs. Anything that’s outside your workspace you can get answers for in the office. You can discuss anything that is of interest to you from health to finance, anything, but within the space of the office.

Q: Can day-to-day work activities get in the way of successful employee engagement programs? How do you overcome roadblocks?

Irene: Good working relationship with the floor colleagues and managers. That really helps me to overcome issues making employee connections. It’s all about a really good working relationship, that’s how employee bonding comes about. Everybody has a role in employee engagement, right? A manager needs to get the best out of their people and happy employees are going to give you their best. Happy minds, happy jobs. It’s all linked.

Q: What do you have planned for 2015? What is the vision for employee engagement?

Irene: We want to run simple but continue to give the best to the employees and their needs. It can always get better, right? We want to continue to do some Design Thinking this year, which is a big thing in SAP. It’s a great initiative combining technology and innovation that’s been created for business to run better and source brilliant ideas from their employees. For employee engagement in 2015, I hope to get more employees to come forward through Design Thinking, brainstorm and come with great ideas. SAP can come together and create a better 2015 employee engagement program for everybody to enjoy and benefit.

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