Employee Engagement – how to get it

From an article item on the People Management website

 “The review, announced by the government in September last year, is intended to examine new ways to boost the performance of employees in the UK. Spearheaded by David MacLeod, it will seek to define effective employee engagement and examine the barriers to achieving it. But its publication comes at a time when many employees have been left battered and bruised after seeing their colleagues being made redundant and their organisations go through brutal restructuring.”

The piece goes onto describe the benefits of engaging staff in the success of the company, quoting one research study which concluded that engaged staff improved performance by 20%.

Great stuff. Worryingly lots of business owners apparantly don’t know how to do it.

This is a very quick guide – when I have a moment I’ll update it. If you have any questions please email or give me a ring – 07921001554 – I’m happy to discuss some ideas over the phone. Here goes…

  • 1. A hygiene note. Make sure your vision includes your staff. If you want to up-sticks and relocate to China. You can’t expect them to sign up to warmly.
  • 2. Work out what engagement means for you and your company. “Engagement” is one of those words which we all agree upon but – IMHO – no-one knows what it means. With one or more of your colleagues, list 157 things you’d notice about your company if your employees were as enthusiastic as you are about what you want to achieve. I’m talking very little things – small signs. This is going to take some discipline so keep at it. You may get more than 157 and if you do set yourself another mad figure – say 261.
  • 3. Go back down to list and highlight which ones you already see in some or more of your workers. Get creative – be a fly on the wall, be a customer, be a supplier and get noticing.
  • 4. Have a think about which are the things you’d see as employees become engaged – small signs of further improvement. You are going to focus your energies on this list
  • 5. Go back to stage 2. Make a plan to recognise these things that people are already doing. A central tenet here is to catch your people doing what you want them to do and reward them.
  • 6. Make a plan for stage 3. Remembering the following rules
    Myth management – it’s gossip that influences opinion
    – People are more convinced by what comes out of their own mouth than others
    – Bosses have personal influence (really, more than you think – people would like to hang out with you…)
    – People are more convinced by what they see and hear than what they are told – model engagement yourself
    – Don’t rely on money – once fairly treated we know that people are more motivated by things other than cash
    – Have conversations – there’s nothing like it – forget paper, policy, vision documents, your intranet on this occasion. Get out and talk to people about you want.
    – We all work towards what is focused on – make what you want rather than not what you don’t want (if you see what I mean..) the subject of this engagement project
  • 7. Remember stage 2 – as improvement happens, notice them and talk about
  • 8. Let me know how you get on!

: – )

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