According to Bandt & Haines (2002), employee engagement is an important part of the role of the athletics administrator. It is more than a cliché, though true, that employees are an important asset not only to businesses but also to educational institutions. In athletics department, employees are the front-liners, ambassadors, fundraisers and the back office, and the department’s strategy rolled into one (Messmer, 2007). However, they have the absolute decision on whether or not to work, how hard they should work, and how much they wish to engage in the mission and plans of the athletics department (Bhattacharyya, 2009). This implies that the engagement of employees is extremely crucial in attaining the goals of the department. It is the role of the administrator to ensure that these goals are achieved. Apparently, if an employee is not finding meaning in his or her work, or does not understand how his work contributes to the departmental goals, then some action needs to be taken (Smith & Mazin, 2004). In this regard, this paper attempts to look at the various ways in which the administrator can improve employee engagement and productivity, especially where performance appraisals have failed.
Job swap might improve performance and engagement of employees (Messmer, 2007). Job swapping facilitates the switching of duties between employees for a day, or a week in more ambitious offices (Bandt & Haines, 2002). Job swapping does not only enable employees to explore new aspects of the department, but also enables greater communication and understanding of the challenges faced by each departmental position. According to Messmer (2007), the temporary change of break and pace from routine is likely to be welcomed by many participants as well. The idea of job swapping is possibly the most ambitious. However, organizational goals of the department still need to be achieved. As a result, job swapping should not interfere with the timely achievement of these goals. In order to facilitate such swap, it is important to have employees explain what should be achieved during the day swapping. According to Christensen (2013), the daily routine of doing things at the workplace can be boring and might cause the disengagement of employees. As such, exposing employees to new positions by swapping might eradicate the boredom and increase their productivity.
The administrator or human resource manager should get input of the people he or she manages (Bhattacharyya, 2009). Employees clearly understand what the cause of the low engagement and performance (Bhattacharyya, 2009). They also have the possible ways of fixing the problem of low engagement and performance. As such, they need to be asked in the correct way, such as interviews. However, the athletics administrator or HR Manager requires an outside consultant for interviews with concerning sensitive issues such as performance and engagement (Bandt & Haines, 2002). Employees must trust that the outside consultant will preserve their confidentiality. As such, it is important to request the services of a skilled interviewer who can help employees to speak openly whereas he or she is obtaining the input needed in solving the problems.
It is also important for the HR manager or administrator to address the cause of the problem, and not to blame it on the individual accused of not performing (Messmer, 2007). As the administrator seeks to comprehend the reasons why employees feel negative, he or she might learn about actions and people that make him or her angry (Smith & Mazin, 2004). As such, it is important for the administrator to resist the temptation of confronting workers concerning particular events. The form of confrontation will result in a backlash of blame, which will make workers reserved concerning speaking their mind in future. The administrator can focus on addressing the cause of poor performance exhibited by the employee in order to facilitate engagement,
Respecting the needs of the employee to the balance between life and work will significantly improve the engagement of the employee. The present organizations have made it clear that the balance between life and work is an overriding priority for employees. The athletics administrator should nurture and retain more top talent by taking a holistic approach to the welfares of the employee. Some of the work arrangements that can be used by the administrator in the approach to employees’ welfare include part-time, flexible hours, telecommuting and job-sharing. The department can also offer comprehensive family benefits to employees. According to Bandt & Haines (2002), it is the responsibility of the HR department to do what it takes in order to respect and cater for the priorities of key employees. As such, this requires the department to consider fully the circumstances of their lives.
Creating a favorable working environment will improve the engagement and performance of employees (Bandt & Haines, 2002). Similar to being a top employer, it is a vital responsibility of the athletics department, through the administrator, to invest increasingly in employing creative measures in the well-being of employees. This should extend to offering workplace conditions, which are conducive and pleasant to creativity, innovation, hard work and innovation (Smith & Mazin, 2004). In addition to the generous vacation programs that employees should be encouraged to take, employees’ well-being can also be nurtured during the working hours with the creation of office sports team. The communal area and office layouts should also be arranged in a way that promotes a sense of belonging well-being in order to maximize their level of satisfaction.
According to Smith & Mazin (2004), maintaining open communication channels will also improve the participation and performance of the employees. As an employer, the department’s coaches and administrator are certainly aware of the significance of facilitating unhampered and smooth flow of information across the functions and layers. The department officials can attain this by making sure that they encourage their employees to articulate their aspirations, ideas and concerns. The department can also keep its employees to date through constant communication in relation to the direction, vision, objectives, mission and performance of the department. According to Bandt & Haines (2002), listening to workers even when the department cannot meet their requests is significant in improving their loyalty. Successful engagement of employees also needs constructive and honest feedback on routine basis. The feedback is a crucial in motivating employees and channeling their talent in the appropriate direction.
According to Messmer (2007), creating an environment of inclusion and diversity is likely to contribute positively to the department’s bottom line and show both commitment and loyalty among employees. Many businesses have taken significant steps in ensuring that all employees are included in the process of making decision. As such, following the footsteps of these businesses of looking into diversity programs and culture committees will significantly assist in promoting the emotional well-being of the nonperforming and disengaged employees. These are significant tools in human resources glossary of the present progressive organization. Similar to many leading corporations, the department should have formalized coaching programs, whereby psychologists work with top employees in order to assist them recognizes their priorities and strengths.
Being honest about any negative findings with the employees will also improve the employees’ loyalty and commitment (Bhattacharyya, 2009). If a condition is shaming, it is important for the athletics administrator to express the disappointment appropriately. This is quite contrary to the scenario being studied by this paper in which the administrator positively evaluates an employee who does not deserve positive evaluation. When communicating the findings of employee performance, the administrator should be honest and straightforward. Employees know how they perform and contribute to the overall goal of the department. If important issues are omitted from what is shared with them in a cutesy manner, they will know and distrust the department. Apparently, the distrust will discourage the engagement of employees. According to Messmer (2007), it is significant to report frankly the key issues, which emerge in the survey of employees’ performance.
Involving the senior leadership intervention process will assist in dealing with employee disengagement. Employee performance and engagement are a serious matter. As such, if the matters escalate to an extent that the employee no longer responds to the typical measures of improving performance, it is useful to seek the assistance of the senior leadership. According to Messmer (2007), employee performance and engagement are of the subjects employees need to hear about from the leadership. Indeed, senior leadership is most likely to model new behaviors in order for the change to cascade through the department.
Employee engagement is an important part of the role of the athletics administrator. Job swapping facilitates the switching of duties between employees for a day, or a week in more ambitious offices. The administrator or human resource manager should get input of the people he or she manages. . Employees clearly understand what is causing the low engagement and performance. They also have the possible ways of fixing the problem of low engagement and performance. Respecting the needs of the employee to life/work balance will significantly improve the engagement of the employee. Being honest about any negative findings with the employees will also improve the employees’ loyalty and commitment.
Bandt, A., & Haines, S. ( 2002). Successful strategic human resource planning: creating your people as a competitive advantage. New York: Systems Thinking Press.
Bhattacharyya, D. (2009). Human resource planning. New York: Excel Books India.
Christensen, C. (2013, March 29). 4 Quick, easy and fun ways to improve employee engagement now. Retrieved May 11, 2013, from Government Executives : http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2013/03/4-quick-easy-and-fun-ways-improve-employee-engagement-now/62166/
Messmer, M. (2007). Human resources kit for dummies. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing.
Smith, S. A., & Mazin, R. A. (2004). The HR answer book: An indispensable guide for managers and human resources professionals. New York: AMACOM.