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November 12, 2012

Employees are the foundation of Success

Employees are like the wheels of a car

Just like a car cannot move with flat tires, the growth of an organization also depends heavily on the outputs of its employees. A company and its employees share a symbiotic relationship – none can do without each other.

Some common issues

In today’s highly competitive and demanding world, people have to work for long hours. And it has a direct impact on the individual’s health – blood pressure, diabetes, etc have become common diseases, even at young age. Low back pain is now part of life, especially for those of us who have desk jobs. Working in computers, both laptop and desktop, affect our eyes – no anti-glare screen is effective enough.

Stressful jobs disturb our personal lives too. We get little time for ourselves – almost all of us cannot catch the much needed eight-hour long sleep everyday. We eat less and do our household chores mechanically. Working women have a nightmare trying to balance work and home. Also recreation takes a backseat for most of us on weekdays.

For those who work in continuously evolving fields, it becomes difficult to keep abreast with the latest practices and development, because we have little time to invest on our development, go through journals or participate in training programmes, etc.

All the strain on our nervous system makes us irritable and less accommodative – often, we find ourselves having differences with colleagues over very minor issues. We tend to concentrate on our own tasks so much that we often do not get time to know our colleagues who are not part of our project teams. Thus, two employees may be neighbours or share common interests, but they may not know about each other at all.

What is ultimately affected is the productivity of the individual; and this hampers the growth of both his as a professional and the organization he works with as a whole. “Work harder for better benefits”, is thus a big paradox!

What is the solution?

The balance between professional and personal lives forms the key to the solution of this dichotomy. Companies are gradually realizing that for the growth of an organization, it is crucial to invest on employee development – to have healthier, happier and more skilled people!

The crucial responsibility of human resource team of any firm is to appreciate the issues faced by employees and assist them as far as possible, keeping in mind the company objectives.

Examples of Employee Development

Training – Companies send key employees for training programmes and workshops to sharpen their skills and become up to date with the industry globally. Some organizations sponsor their employees to pursue higher education to obtain professional degrees, such as M. Tech, MBA, etc. Courses such as personality development or better presentation skills are also encouraged by some firms.

Stress Management – This is outsourced to various agencies which assist people to face the challenges thrown up at the working environment. They conduct workshops with small groups of people, and teach small tactics that help us to feel less fatigued at work. For example, a correct sitting posture can keep away low back pain.

Health Management – Gymnasiums in offices with at lease few basic equipments are becoming common these days. An instructor is also engaged, usually on part time basis for few hours on particular days of a week, who guides the employees to do exercises that tone their muscles and relieve the stress of the day.

Health check up camps are also organized periodically, where employees are examined for weight, blood pressure, eye sight, random blood sugar, pulse rate, etc. A nutritionist is also invited who gives tips to make healthy snacks and advices good food habits.

Team Building – This is very crucial for employees of an organization to interact with each other out of their usual project teams. Activities are designed by forming teams of people who had perhaps known each other by faces till then. They have to work together – plan strategies, form jingles, find solutions to puzzles, boo the others teams, cheer for themselves and much more! Team building programmes are usually held at a place away from the usual location – utilizing this opportunity, people are made to share rooms for the night with a member of a different team so that they can interact and be friends. A session where people are informed about the company objectives proves useful. It also gives the opportunity to employees to discuss their concerns. The various activities, such as team games like cricket, tug of war and likewise bring out the child in adults – and the group returns rejuvenated. This helps in identifying hidden potentials in employees – a typist may turn out to be a great public speaker, and many such surprises!

Recreational activities – Celebrating festivals such as Diwali, New Year etc with employees and their families at one place provide an ideal platform for individuals to interact. This also increases the goodwill of employees towards the organization.

Library – A library in the office can not only be used to store various project reports but also latest journals and magazines so that employees can be updated about the industry.

How much should a company spend on such activities?

Employee development should be part of the objectives of a company and funds should be allocated for such activities. It is fine to start small with activities that the firm can afford. But these expenses are actually investments, which would elevate the present human resource into thorough professionals. The productivity of individuals would be better and the company would grow as a result.

Also, word about a company that treats its employees well spreads all across the industry. People would look forward to working with the organization.

A firm may have stringent selection criteria for employing an individual but once imbibed, he is an asset to the company. He must be taken care of – his professional growth and personal well being is the onus of the employer. Investment on employee development should be viewed as laying the foundation of success for the company, and thus be adopted by all companies.

Tags : Employee Development, Capacity Building

About Anupama

I am an Architect and a blogger. I have been blogging for about six years now; and have got into professional content writing for the last two years.