As your company did not have an HR person earlier, it would not have concentrated more on Culture development, Working condition and other disciplinary related things etc. People who work in your company will also not give importance to all these things as they grown in that way.
I would suggest you the followings
1. First of all, try to draft some important HR policies like Standard ethical behaviors,Recruitment, PMS, Promotion & Succession Planning, L&D, Working Hours & Attendance System, B&C, Leave, Travel and other facilities etc and get it approved by the Management. Try to circulate the same to everyone to be aware of the same.
2. Try to do some Employee Engagement Survey using external resource to get sense of how people feel and what is satisfaction level of the people etc. It would definitely give you clear picture on what is to be done to ensure perfect working conditions.
3. Try to form a Grievance Handling Team which should include your employees as members and let them work to find out what are their issues and how it can be addressed etc.
2. Try to have employee counseling using external professionals to understand your Engineers problems and then take a call to address their issues.
3. Try to do RACI matrix for all functions which will give clear guidance to each and every employee to work better. because if your employees are not clear on their roles and responsibility, they would not be comfortable at work.
The aspect that engineer's do not enjoy what they do is a disturbing factor.
It can be dependent on technology, growth and learning, location, working conditions, compensation, respect for professionals, policies, etc. or perhaps most of them are there only for a stop-gap and are waiting for good opportunities else where that will recognize and tap their potential that cn help them grow and to get into step with all the other engineers in the IT industry.
The first thing that you should ensure whether the company you work for now, believes in the 'Philosophy of HR,' and this would in simple terms mean, the promoters have a certain dream while launching themselves into a business, and to help them realize this dream they will need people - technical and no-technical. If they want to reach it by every which ever means then HR can't do much, but if they are sincere, and want to reach their goals then they should make their journey an inclusive one. Having experience and qualifications, HR can play huge role in this process of understanding what the top people want and then work together with the people by help them see the 'Big Picture' and their role in this.
Have 'policies' have systems etc., that you can use to enable you handle your responsibilities, but, the need of the 'hour' is a strong conviction that you need to develop is that you have made the right choice of joining this company, then commit yourself to changing the situation, and then convince the management that you cant do it while requesting them for absolute support. If you have this, it's highly unlikely that you will not succeed.
Having done this just ask yourself a few questions to start off
- "why should anyone want to follow you"
- "what is so special about you"
- "what is it that you can bring to the table that other's can't"
- "what is the value you can add for their, career, growth and life"
Only you will know the answers for these question.
It's all about being "human" and a "servant leader." You should wins hearts, because we do not engage hands only, we need to engage their minds and win their hearts by letting them know that you really care"
Trust this helps you..
You mentioned there are employee grievances. Please try and listen to what they say and then find out why the management have kept the things the way it is. Take detailed notes on the critical situations. You will find many opportunities for development within the system.
Your initiative is commendable. But before you invest your effort, please understand the implications and then plan accordingly.
You might at the most be able to acknowledge 30-40% of the grievances , through the changes. However, the fact that you would invest to listen to them will set you on a better note.
Once you have the policies drawn, please consider partnering the implementation through your employees. Such as call for Townhalls or focus group meetings and present the new policies. Get them to be your ambassador to the culture and take feedbacks actively.
No organisation wants to make their employees unhappy, neither any employee wants to work in a non-conducive environment. Hence , bring the two parties towards a common goal and build the shared vision.
Wish you all the best!
Close on heels to my posting is an excellent one from Ms. (Cite Contribution), I'm sure you will delve into them and then apply what you've absorbed. Plese be patient, "Rome wasn't built in a day," this process is time consuming, but in the end the results will really good, because of the changes you will see in people, and that will include you too.
Having said this let me quickly add that there are some excellent books and authors from whom you can learn a lot.
For instance very early in my career I read... Pulling Your Own Strings: Dynamic Techniques for Dealing with Other People and Living Your Life As You Choose, by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Your Erroneous Zones, by Dr. Wayne Dyer : Books and Products - Dr. Wayne Dyer
and both these books were amazing as it awakens your inner potential with self introspection and empowers you enormously.
Subsequently again pretty early in my career I've been influenced a great deal by Dennis Waitley
The Joy of Working: The 30-Day System to Success, Wealth, and Happiness on the Job by Denis Waitley, Reni Witt.
Everyone, from secretaries to CEOs, from house painters to housewives, can learn to mix business with pleasure and make every job a labor of love. Here is a practical, down-to-earth guide that gives you a step-by-step, day-by-day unique 30-point program that will teach you how to take stock of your talents, avoid routine, take on greater challenges, and come to understand the true joy of working.
"This book could change the TGIF attitude to TGIM--'Thank God It's Monday.'"
say Ken Blanchard, Author of THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER
The Psychology of Winning, Denis Waitley
Seeds of Greatness, Denis Waitley
He reviews ten simple "secrets" for living a happy and successful life. His chapter titles are:
The Seed of Self-Esteem
The Seed of Creativity
The Seed of Responsibility
The Seed of Wisdom
The Seed of Purpose
The Seed of Communication
The Seed of Faith
The Seed of Adaptability
The Seed of Perseverance
The Seed of Perspective
It's a real classic!
Empires of the Mind: Lessons To Lead And Succeed In A Knowledge-Based workplace , Denis Waitley
The Winner's Edge, Denis Waitley
This is a working guide to getting ahead. It is a back-to-basics approach for developing and sustaining an attitude toward life that results in success.
Books by Denis Waitley (Author of The Psychology of Winning)
Books on Leadership from John Maxwell
are just a few examples I share but this is a long list....
By reading your thoughts expand, and when you challenge people with new facts, you earn a lot of respect. Degrees from the Universities give you an entry to a job, where as the education and experience you gain at work paves the way for a career, and for this the "gun-powder" will come from your reading and knowledge.
Please remember you've got to earn respect as a "human being" first, everything else follow automatically.