Companies need HR people who care about their employees.
Each day, employees go to their jobs with the intent of providing their skills to the mission of the company. They are the “heartbeat” of a company and they deserve to be treated with respect and empathy. Can you imagine losing a good employee because they were treated like they didn’t matter? It happens every day and it shouldn’t.
A Gallup poll on employee engagement shared that 47% of workers are “not engaged” — they are psychologically unattached to their work and company. They’re also on the lookout for better employment opportunities and will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.
Immediately following the civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd, the largest decline in employee engagement was among those in managerial or leadership positions, as well as non-White respondents and those with Democratic political party affiliation or independents. The drop was also sharper for people working on-site versus at home and among blue-collar or service workers.
How can HR improve employee engagement? In 2009, I was working for the Veteran Affairs (VA) Hospital in Asheville, NC. One of my job requirements was to manage the Leave program for the VA hospital, which meant that I worked with employees who needed to invoke the Family Medical Leave Act. The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, continuing group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave according to the Department of Labor.
I realized that the process was taking up to a week for a VA employee to invoke FMLA. I came up with a process that would stream-line the FMLA process for employees by involving less supervisor review of the application. Employees were able to be approved for FMLA faster, which reduced the stress of a lengthy waiting period.
It often is the little things that let employees know they matter. I saw the relief on one of our employee’s face when he learned the FMLA process was improved and timelier. Employees need to focus on themselves and their loved ones, not on slow, untimely HR processes.
I believe in safe and respectful work environments, check out Dawn’s articles.