By Umer Raza Bhutta
The management and the staff are like a family. In our organizations there is a lot of talk about this and emphasis is laid over calling the organization a family. Staff arranges family get-together on different occasions and talk about issues other than regular office talk. Their families mingle and know that their man or woman works in a respectable surrounding. That helps creating a bonding among them that is intended to have greater results during work-hours, enhanced team work and knowing each other outside the normal office attire. Such occasions are getting roots albeit slowly, and because such events cost money as well hence the affair is limited to once a year in the companies. I must say that not all the companies do this, but only those who have started realizing the importance of family of their employees. Still such functions/events are limited to the families of the management only, or sometime extend to the middle management staff. So now how does this family mantra of the Human Resources go further down to the lower lever of the staff and that too without costing much and not limited to once a year.
Let me share with you one of my experience which actually helped creating a true family spirit in my organization. This practice created not only a family spirit but even helped to create an ownership from the family of the staff towards the work he/she is doing in the company.
Once after the appraisal we promoted a young staff member to the next level. His family was never invited (because he was a lower ranked staff) to any of the function or event in the company, although he was serving in the company for many years. Thus his family only knew that their family man is working in such and such organization, doing certain work. They knew that he leaves in the morning comes back in the evening and sometime needs to work overtime and in certain odd shifts as well. When he was promoted to the next level, HR sent a letter to his father (as he was unmarried) about his success in the company and appreciated his father for playing his role in helping his son to be successful and supporting him. His father in return wrote a letter to HR saying that how proud he is that his son is working with this company and he intends to further support him in his work at the company. He actually shared this letter with his colleagues and shared the name of the company with his friends and colleagues. Our employee later told us that his father and other family members are now actually helping him in his development to perform even better and share our company’s values with others and promote our name.
On another occasion, we sent letter to the wife of a newly joined employee, appreciating her for supporting her husband. We appreciated her for her time whereby she helped her husband in his career, to be able to be selected for this position. In return, the employee told us that his wife is so happy at this that she remarked that she will support him during his work and he must put all his energies at work.
After receiving such encouraging remarks we made a point to send the family letters at every achievement of the employee. This includes joining, confirmation, winning an award etc. This helped to enhance ownership of the employee at work and bringing his family also closer to the work as the family tends to support him/her. After-all, our families are the biggest stake holders in our work. They must be acknowledged for their contribution, they must be given feedback about the person who is away from them for a good part of the active day. Through such a small act, that cost peanuts, you make your employee a satisfied person having support at work from his/her prime worries at home.
This is called engagement with the employee; this is called a step towards making a strong family organization.