Employee engagement is one of the critical factors for improving an organization’s profitability and sustainability. In a recent meta-analysis conducted by Gallup, highly engaged business units incurred 21% increased profitability. These units also reported reduced staff turnover, higher customer retention, and increased business efficiency and productivity.
Most organizations scramble to attain employee engagement. Gallup’s State of Global Workplace report highlights that 85% of employees lacked employee engagement. Are employee wellness programs and engagement surveys enough to improve employee engagement holistically? Disengaged employees often refrain from actively participating in surveys and recording feedback.
Fortunately, there are some effective solutions available for improving business efficiency, productivity, and employee engagement. Resource management is one of them.
Resource management solutions can help improve employee engagement significantly by managing the workforce most effectively and efficiently. This article aims to highlight the role of resource management in employee engagement. Before going delving deep, let’s get the basics right.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the strength with which employees feel mentally and emotionally connected to their workplace.
Though often misconstrued, employee engagement is not synonymous with employee happiness, satisfaction, and well-being. Happy employees might have a cheerful demeanor, but that doesn’t show how invested they are at work or guarantee high productivity.
How resource management solution can help improve employee engagement:
1) Allocate tasks as per employee skills and interest:
Mismatch work allocation is one of the most significant contributors to employee disengagement. When managers fail to take employee’s skills and areas of interest into account, stagnation and boredom can cause unplanned attrition. Korn Ferry 2018 report points out that 1 out of 3 employees cite boredom as a reason behind leaving their present organization.
Resource management solutions provide complete visibility of resources. All information on a resource’s skills, qualification, experience, etc. are centralized on a single platform in real-time. Resource scheduling, a salient feature of resource management, helps assign tasks as per the worker’s skills and interest. Gallup points out that employees who utilize their skills and strength every day are 6 times more engaged.
Besides, trusting employees to work on different projects provides them with skill-building opportunities, which helps maintain their Individual Development Plan or IDP.
2) Identify the skill gap and provide training:
Lack of career development opportunities also leads to employee disengagement. According to SHRM’s Employee Job satisfaction and engagement report, only 29% of participants were satisfied with current career advancement opportunities. As organizations fail to identify the skill gaps, they forego training and development processes.
Capacity planning, another robust feature of resource management solutions, helps in identifying skill gaps ahead of time. Thus, appropriate training and development processes are put into action to have an optimally skilled and balanced resource pool. Professional development not only improves employee engagement but also has a positive impact on productivity and profitability.
3) Minimize frequently overloading resource with work:
Continually overloading an employee with work can disengage employees and hurt productivity. Cornerstone points out that workload reduced productivity by 68% as employees felt they had fewer hours to accomplish all tasks. Stress caused due to work overload can adversely affect an individual’s morale and involvement at work. Another serious implication of regularly overloading an employee can be employee burnout, which can further lead to unplanned attrition.
Resource management solutions provide 360-degree visibility of resources. Using real-time reports like capacity vs. demand, resource managers can avoid overloading them against their capacity. Besides, the system sends alerts in case of overloading during booking to prevent it in the first place.
4) Reduce over and under-skilled resource allocation:
Allocating over or under-skilled employees can cause ramifications of employee engagement. When an employee is underqualified to execute a job, it can impede the project timeline. From the employee’s perspective, a lack of knowledge and expertise to handle the assignment can frustrate and disengage him/her.
On the other hand, overqualified employees feel essentially deprived and bored handling tasks that seem menial. Over skilled employees also tend to be expensive, which explains why the project resource costs suddenly blow up. In either case, businesses experience lower employee engagement, productivity, and profitability.
Resource Management solution captures and centralizes all essential information about resources like skills, qualifications, experience, and cost rate, among others. Using advanced search filters, resource managers can find the ‘best-visible-best-fit’ instead of ‘first-visible-first-fit’ to eliminate under or over skilled resource allocation.
5) Optimize bench-time using resource management solution:
Bench time is the period during which employees are not assigned to billable or strategic work. On the one hand, it results in loss of profitability, and on the other, benched employees also feel demotivated and frustrated over time. It leads to employee disengagement, and worse, causes involuntary attrition.
Businesses must find ways to utilize these employees efficiently and build the organization’s knowledge base by training them on tangible skills. Resource management solutions help minimize bench time by engaging them on strategic and billable work. People on the bench and project vacancy reports can help identify and allocate employees who will be on bench down the line. Using resource management solution, bringing forward future and pipeline project timelines can help optimize bench management.
Bench time can be used as an opportunity to train underperformers and freshers. Resource management solution helps identify skill gaps to apply reskilling and upskilling measures on existing employees. Benched employees matching specific qualification criteria can also be trained on the job while working on billable projects. Shadowing is one such effective way of acquiring skills and insights via observing others in action.
6) Empower employees for decision-making process:
Although employees are a source of innovation and knowledge, often, their ideas remain untapped. Involving them in the decision-making process improves their morale and employee engagement. This empowerment expands beyond their skill sets and prepares them to carry future responsibilities.
In a matrix organization structure, resource management solution helps allocate employees on multiple projects. It helps them gain valuable experience by working outside their traditional boundaries and developing diverse skill sets.
Besides, offering employees a choice of projects that are best suited for their skill sets empowers them in decision making. Using search filters within resource management solutions, resource managers can identify tasks that match the resource skillset. As they are more involved in projects selected by them, it results in increased productivity and engagement.
Employee engagement is the holy grail for organizations worldwide. Everyone wants to strengthen it, yet they struggle to figure out where to start. Concluding from the above points, resource management solutions can significantly improve employee engagement. Improving engagement will help align the workforce to an organization’s mission and values, boost customer loyalty and positively impact the bottom line.