Employee Engagement and Its Importance for MSMEs! - 21st Oct, 22
Spread the love

Employee Engagement and Its Importance for MSMEs!


Employee Engagement is one of the most important phrases in the HR world today. But what exactly is Employee engagement? What does that really mean, and why should MSME businesses consider it seriously?

Rather than getting into the academic definitions of Employee Engagement, let’s see how the corporate world defines employee engagement–

The Corporate Leadership Council defines employee engagement as– ‘the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organization and how hard they work and how long they stay as a result of that commitment.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

While most companies believe and follow this definition, they also have their own versions of it.
After studying many of these definitions, we came to the conclusion that in practice, employee engagement means:

How much an employee is committed to the organization’s goals, values, and objectives. It can be translated to his or her attachment to an organization.

Now it’s common sense that such employees will add to the betterment of the company. Many academic and corporate researches prove it, too.

The focus on employee engagement started in 1990 with Dr. Kahn’s theory of employee engagement. He took employee engagement beyond common sense and proposed 3 dimensions of engagement: Physical engagement, Mental engagement, and emotional engagement.

And then in the early 21st century, the companies started taking it seriously. We believe the internet and information technology revolution played a vital role here. Because now companies were no more separate islands. Employees in one company get the news of what’s happening in other organizations. Their expectations levels have changed.

And thus, compensation, increments, and incentives are not the only factors in retaining employees. A healthy work culture and work-life balance is demanded by employees everywhere. When organizations don’t fulfill these expectations, they lose good talent to other organizations.

On the other hand, HR people understand that a good level of employee engagement helps them in retaining employees. And CEOs know: it increases productivity. 

That’s why it is so mainstream now that no HR theory or practice can overlook employee engagement. HR departments in large companies put strong emphasis on employee engagement management.

But MSME business owners are lagging behind. In general, they haven’t yet understood the true power of employee engagement and its significance.


Why do MSME business owners ignore employee engagement?

As per our surveys among MSME organizations, here are some of the myths which stop MSME business owners–

–Business is a serious activity and if people have fun they will not focus on their work.
–Employee engagement is about office parties and expensive events.
–Employee engagement is meant for large organizations with hundreds and thousands of employees.


As a business owner put it, ‘we are always behind schedule. Where is the time for employee engagement activities?’

Another one expressed the reason not spelled out often, ‘we don’t have money for these non-productive things. We tried birthday cake cutting in our office but got no results.’

Some business leaders wish to engage their employees but don’t have the know-how or the bandwidth. This can be expressed as: We wish we too can give our employees some good experiences. But our HR manager is so busy with administrative work he has no time to take care of these things.


Here are our suggestions and guidelines:


— Cake cutting on birthdays and giving employees gifts on Deepawali is not employee engagement activities. Over the years, these have become part of all organizations. To make a difference we need something more.

— Employee engagement isn’t expensive. While large companies throw beach parties, that’s not necessary. Many companies have town hall meetings every month. Employees express their thoughts about how to improve things. Such activities increase their belongingness to the organization. It doesn’t need special budgets. Nothing beats a hot cup of tea, samosas, and good conversation!

–Employee engagement isn’t just about office parties and events. Employees want their thoughts and opinions to be heard. An office survey can be a good start for improving employee engagement.

–Business isn’t a serious activity. The expectation of the workforce is Career growth as well as emotional well-being. So companies have adopted the mantra: Work hard, play hard! Intense work along with some entertainment and fun activities is a norm. Let us underline it, all employees wish to join those companies over a boring work environment.

–In today’s world employee engagement isn’t only for large organizations. Many start-ups with only 10 to 25 employees make sure their employees are engaged. In fact, this is their major strength. Many senior and experienced people join start-ups because of the openness, fun and excitement of working at start-ups. Which they miss at big corporates.

–Even regular compliance can be gamified. OpportuneHR attendance platform Cuckoo Tech involves gamification. Employees who follow the office attendance rules get points and winners get rewards. This triggers healthy competition among employees.

Any clever business owner will know that retaining an employee is always better than finding a replacement.

They also know the pain of convincing good talent to join their organization.

So we suggest you do invest a little in low-budget employee engagement activities. And showcase these activities on social media like Twitter and LinkedIn. When potential employees go through your LinkedIn pages they can see things happening at the office which encourages them to join.

Now, the worry is, who will take care of these activities?

You will be surprised many employees in the organization would like to take responsibility. Or, it can be rotated among departments. It gives employees a good opportunity to showcase their organizing abilities and talents.

In short, better employee engagement will help an MSME company by instilling a sense of pride in the organization. This is usually missing in this sector. 

Also, when you are on the verge of expanding your business or wish to grow aggressively, employee engagement will play a vital role. 

In our view, in comparison to large organizations, employee engagement has a much bigger impact on the progress of MSME organizations. Small team bonds are much better. And works together to create a difference. 

In case you need it, you can hire HR services like FirstHR to create a better culture in the organization. This particular HR service is meant for MSMEs and start-ups. So it will be in your budget.

We hope these suggestions will help you improve employee engagement at your organization. If you need any help, feel free to connect with us.



Author details: 

Dhwani Mehta is the Director of opportuneHR.com,

India’s leading HRMS solution platform designed for MSMEs and Startups.

An alumnus of Mithibai College, Mumbai,

he is an HR automation thought leader, a mentor to entrepreneurs, and a passionate video gamer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »