For any business, small, medium, or big, their workforce is the most significant investment. Since employees are the building blocks of the company, their performance and productivity bring in the desired revenue for profitability and sustainability. Thus, it is of utmost importance to take care of them and cater to their needs.
For that, you need to create a work environment where the workforce feels enthusiastic and engaged. It will help your business to thrive. On the contrary, if you don’t consider your employees’ engagement levels, they may soon lose interest which will translate into lower productivity and, in worse cases, unplanned attrition.
This article will help you understand the benefits of employee engagement and how you can utilize resource management to enhance it.
Significance of employee engagement
Employee engagement is a concept that describes the level of satisfaction, enthusiasm, and dedication an employee has for the work that he/she is doing. An engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed in the tasks and takes necessary actions to improve their performance and the organization’s profitability and sustainability.
As per a Harvard Business Review survey, “71% of executives believe employee engagement is crucial for business success.”
Here are some reasons it is a significant factor in the modern-day workplace,
- It can boost employee performance and enhance overall productivity.
- Engagement translates into satisfaction, which improves retention.
- It helps foster a positive work culture and environment.
- Unplanned employee absenteeism will go down significantly.
- Your customer satisfaction rates will increase with an engaged and empowered workforce.
Thus, evidently, employee engagement can be a key catalyst in the company’s success.
The pertinent question is- how can you make your employees engaged in the workplace?
Effective resource management can be an efficient strategy to get the job done. The following section will explain how it can help elevate employee engagement.
How can resource management boost employee engagement?
Resource management is the process of utilizing business resources effectively and efficiently and leveraging their potential to the maximum. Here is how it can assist you in improving employee engagement.
1. Allocate the right resources to the right tasks
If you allocate a junior resource to a high-priority task, it may hamper his/her productivity and lead to poor quality deliverables. Moreover, the resource may need excess training that may delay the task’s progress. On the other hand, if a senior resource is assigned to a low-priority or mundane task, they may feel like they are given less importance, not utilized effectively, and look for better opportunities elsewhere. In both these situations, the resources’ engagement will take a hit, which may be detrimental for the company.
However, if you can match the tasks with the resources’ skills and experience level, then it can take these woes out of the picture. The resources will be more productive when their skills are utilized at the right place and also stay engaged. A resource management solution provides enterprise-wide visibility of the resources’ skills, experience, capacity, availability, etc. Using that, you can filter the best-fit employee, allocate tasks and hence, improve their performance and engagement.
2. Prevent over/underutilization of resources
Sub-optimal utilization is one of the contributing factors to low employee engagement. Underutilization can lead to dissatisfaction amongst employees who may feel discouraged and undervalued, adversely affecting their behavior and performance. Also, since the resource would be underloaded with work, it may hamper their billability and productivity. Besides, if the employee is overutilized, it can lead to burnout, health disorders, unplanned leaves, and even attrition.
Using robust resource management software, you can track the utilization of resources in real-time and visualize if the resources are over/underutilized. Based on that, you can take course-corrective actions ahead of the curve. A utilization heatmap can also help you monitor the utilization rates of the resources. For example, if a resource doesn’t have an optimal workload or is working on non-billable tasks, you can assign billable or strategic work as necessary and ensure productive utilization. Additionally, if a critical resource is overutilized, then you can implement resource leveling/smoothing techniques to relieve the resource of the excess workload.
With these techniques, you can ensure that the resources are utilized optimally so that their productivity, performance, and engagement remain intact.
3. Offer diverse career opportunities across matrix boundaries
When resources consistently work on similar projects, it may cause stagnation and, eventually, disengagement. However, using resource management software, you can offer multiple or diverse opportunities across matrix boundaries and help resources nurture their skills and diversify their portfolio.
For instance, let’s consider that you have hired a content writer for the marketing department. Two demands have come up for this resource. In the first task, he/she has to work on an SEO-optimization project. Simultaneously, the resource has to work with the graphic design department and ensure the designs align with the content. Now, while performing both these tasks, they will get exposed to the processes these two departments follow and get a chance to collaborate inter-departmentally. They can even leverage this situation and build surface-level SEO or designing skills. Thus, employees exhibit more engagement when given more exposure and work on multi-faceted projects.
4. Implement effective bench management
An employee ends up on the bench when managers fail to foresee the future resource demands and allocate them before getting rolled off from ongoing projects. Spending too much time on the bench can have a negative impact on the employee’s productivity and performance. When a resource is on the bench, his billability gets affected, and they will eventually feel disengaged. Moreover, it adds to the company’s bottom line and lowers profitability.
Using an advanced forecasting solution and bench reports, managers can visualize which resources will hit the bench well ahead of the curve. Thus, you can find suitable tasks for them in advance and ensure that their productivity is not hampered. Furthermore, you can visualize the vacant positions within projects using the project vacancy reports and allocate those resources to the necessary tasks. Hence, with effective bench management, you can ensure that all the resources remain billable and are not idle or disengaged.
5. Execute training and upskilling programs
Skill development is one the most significant ways to keep your employees engaged and make them feel valued. When the company invests in employee development, they understand that the company values them. Thus, it will enhance their loyalty and sense of belonging. Consequently, they work more productively and show more enthusiasm towards the tasks.
You can implement employee training and upskilling programs with a resource management solution. For instance, using the software, you can monitor the resource profiles and the upcoming skills demands; thus, you can implement training sessions to bridge the skills gaps as necessary. Also, you can track their schedules with a training scheduling solution and find a suitable time slot for the session that doesn’t overlap with their tasks.
Employee engagement plays a critical role in the overall satisfaction and experience of employees. They become more energized, efficient, and tend to go beyond the limit when it’s necessary.
With the ways mentioned above, you can ensure that the employees stay engaged with the help of resource management.
What tactics are you following to get your employees’ full involvement?
Mahendra Gupta is a PMP-certified professional with more than 20 years of experience in resource planning and workforce planning. Currently working as a technical and business consultant at Saviom Software, his expertise in technical project management and sales improvement has enabled several companies around the globe to capitalize on resource efficiency. Follow his work here.