In this podcast episode, international business coach Howard Partridge joins the HR Works podcast and says the solution to engagement and organizational success is rooted in community. This is achieved by tapping into everyone’s “longing for belonging,” or feeling connected and valued by others. HR and a company’s leaders need to build a community around a vision and shared set of values to accomplish the goals of the company, as well as making a difference in customers’ lives. Human resources leaders can build community and transform their organizations by ensuring employees are engaged once recruited, making it easier to retain them. Part of the process is to ensure employees have support, encouragement and accountability. Step one and two in the process is for leaders and HR professionals to value others and help them grow and accomplish their goals, as well as remain a productive member of the team. Partridge says these servant leaders help others get the resources they need to be a better team player, which, because they feel valued, will encourage them to work harder.
The next step is for leaders to demonstrate that they care about employees, not just at work but also their lives. Part of that is mentoring them in communication improvement and other professional skills. In the final two steps, leaders must commit to others, their success and their development, as well as be there when employees need it either through mentoring or verbal encouragement. Partridge recommends the use of pods or smaller groups to drill down to what team members need most or what clarifications they may need to move forward with certain projects. The key is to ensure that the right people with the right skills are made available to those pods to provide that in-depth knowledge and ensure that employees are comfortable offering feedback and asking questions. He reminds HR staff and leaders that “all of life and all of business is about relationships.”