Once Again About The Employee Engagement




During the last several years the theory of an employee engagement gains more and more recognitions in the world. Heads of some Russian companies also began to attach significance to this direction of increase of efficiency of business. However, not all heads and top managers are ready to consider this part of corporate culture seriously. The opinion isn't seldom expressed that the Russian worker is interested only a salary, and the favourite principle of the hired worker: "To work less – to receive more". The main conclusion of their hypotheses: "If  the salary at the enterprise a is a competitive one, bonus system is progressive, then people will be afraid to lose work, and will show good production results. And what else is necessary for business?"

Certainly, material stimulation of workers is a very important component of the motivational system  of personnel. If it doesn't provide the sufficient level of accommodation, then introducing the innovative methods of management of personnel, most likely, doesn't seem to be realistic. On the other hand, if the personnel is kept only by a high salary, then there is a question; "Do you overpay to the workers? May it be more efficient to look for the different incentives for employees of the company?".

It is often possible to hear from heads that, in their opinion, at their company everything is normal since the personnel work and doesn't leave. It should be noted that, really, one of the signs of a high involvement of workers into the life of the company is the low personnel turnover. But the low personnel turnover itself isn't a sufficient condition for recognition of workers involved. Sometimes because of a bad communication in the organization the head just doesn't know about "the hidden undercurrents", the increasing discontent and an explosive situation in collective.


As a case study, I will give an example of the organization where the author of this article together with colleagues had to work in connection with the arisen collective dispute and the serious conflict between workers and administration. For the confidentiality reasons the name of the company, a type of her activity and all the details are changed.

The "XXX" scientific and production firm has the good reputation in the market. It is the large company, with 300 employees. The activity of the company was profitable. Labor productivity in the company grew in a planned order. The management of the company was satisfied with the results. The heads considered that the atmosphere at the enterprise is positive: workers receive a good salary, the number of clients increases, the revenue grows. For the management, it was a bolt from the blue an avalanche of claims for labor disputes and lawsuits in the courts from workers to the enterprise. Generally claims were in connection with the calculation of awards. A year ago the awarding system has changed. As a result of the enterprise faced the various state departments investigations. The management has been forced to incur heavy expenses on the legal support of claims and the cassation of acts of state agencies. In courts, the organization has proved the legal case. But at the enterprise, there was the threat of strikes. Administration and workers were divided into two contradictory fronts. Everyone accused another party of incitement of the conflict. At this moment, the administration has addressed for consultation experts.

We have provided a complex conflictological audit or audit from the aspect of conflict management) and that number have estimated the level of an involvement of workers (employee engagement) and, after the analysis of the obtained information, have come to the following conclusions:

In the company, there is a destructive stratification of personnel on two camps - "white" (employees of office) and "blue collars" (workers). Between them, there is practically no communication. Information from top to down and from below up reaches in the distorted look.

The new bonus system was difficult for perception. Someone has understood how the award pays off, and someone hasn't understood. Attempts of the Head Manager to clear the situation didn't help the situation. Workers had had a feeling that "you won't find the truth at the management". There were informal leaders who have provoked lawsuits in courts. Rumors have spread.

The level of an employee engagement was very low. Workers aren't integrated into the social life of the enterprise, don't share values of the organization since we are almost not familiar with them. The administration and employees of the office are perceived as "parasites" who eat the bread earned by workers. They don't notice efforts of the administration to improve working conditions. Don't believe that in case of disputable situations emerge the administration will be honest to them. For this reason at disagreement with the calculation of bonus appealed to the court, but didn't solve a problem in the enterprise.

If the enterprise systemically were engaged in the development of corporate culture and increased the level of an involvement of workers, then in the case of disputable situations all issues would be resolved inside the group.

After our research together with the management of the enterprise, the plan for the development of corporate culture has been carried out. The organization implements it for the second month. Significant improvement of a situation is noted by "blue collars" and "white".

Our long-term experiment on settlement of difficult situations at the enterprises shows that the technologies applied by us are effective both at a stage of the obvious conflict and as "improving" policy of the company allowing to find the hidden internal resources for the increase of competitiveness of the organization.

The conflictology and business are connected with each other very closely. The people who are interacting with each other working in the organization create competitive production, but not cars. And without forming of the correct relations, without the ability to operate the inevitable conflicts, it is impossible to create the strong long-living enterprise.


Mediator of CDF M. Beresneva