This Valentine's Day – How Can HR “Measure” Employees’ Affection?
If we compare the relationship between employees and organizations to a romance, HR is the one to bring empathy and “light a spark” in their employees’ hearts.
The “lovey-dovey” stage
During the “lovey-dovey” stage, employees work with all their might with their professional spirit and attitude towards work.
This level of love is often seen in "newcomers", employees who have just been promoted, praised, given a raise, or received special benefits. Since the brain will continuously produce happy hormones like Oxytocin and Dopamine, helping employees become enthusiastic and excited.
Every organization might hope this “lovey-dovey” stage to last long and to achieve this, HR needs to strengthen the bond between the organization and employees by helping employees understand the company's core values.
"In order to strengthen the relationship between employees and the organization, leaders and HR need to integrate the organizational values, including mission, vision, and culture, into all processes related to employees such as recruitment, training, management, promotion, rewards, and even layoff. This will reinforce the harmony between the value of organization and employees so that both sides can understand, cooperate and grow together.”
Between indifference and passion, there are employees who are in a “stable relationship” with their job. This is the state called "Hedonic Adaptation" - when the brain has adapted to intense emotions.
During this stage, employees no longer see the glamorous office, interesting colleagues, or ideal job as they did at first, but only the repetitive 8-hour workdays.
In the short term, HR can take advantage of the mechanism that produces happiness hormones similar to the “lovey-dovey” stage. Starting with positive changes by creating new experiences such as empowerment; reskilling & upskilling; assigning employees as advisors or mentors for newcomers; or assigning them to new projects.
In the long term, leaders and HR need to spend more time helping employees identify their needs and desires. From there, they can build a sustainable career progression and advancement, rather than leaving their careers at the mercy of their emotions.
"Creating a 'day 1' culture – which makes every day feels like the first day of work with new and exciting experiences - will be an effective model for employees to maintain their enthusiasm for their job."
When everything is “on the rocks”
Coming in late, leaving early, looking tired, working unproductive, etc. It's not difficult to recognize when the relationship between employees and their job is “on the rocks”. When employees lose their job satisfaction, there are countless potential reasons to consider. HR's task is to identify the root cause of the problem.
According to research from Insight 222, up to 61% of employees in the People Analytics department are responsible for listening to the workforce. The data shows that large organizations place a high value on the role of listening and understanding the workforce to improve their morale and work performance. Large companies such as Microsoft, Walmart, Amazon, etc. have pioneered investing in artificial intelligence to use it as a tool to support analyzing the employees’ emotions and work efficiency.
Regardless of the level of commitment, employees need timely presence, attention, and support from their leaders and HR. Only then can they understand the company's values as well as bring them into alignment with the employees' personal values.
But even if the relationship is showing signs of strain, from her perspective, Ms. Huong advises: "Even when the relationship is on the rocks, employees are willing to share what is on their minds. HR should not miss the opportunity to listen to the employees' thoughts and feelings to identify what needs to be improved and prepare better for newcomers"