A Tweet appeared the other day from a rail company proudly proclaiming a steady rise in their employee engagement score, but no mention of any consequence of this. Are customers getting a better experience, has their satisfaction risen, are trains more full, more often and with more delighted customers, are trains more reliable?
Couple this with the fact that whilst most businesses will nod in agreement that an increase in employee engagement is a good thing, far fewer appear to do anything about it as part of an employee centric, and performance related strategy. You have to wonder whether lip service is being paid to the topic, and if it is central to a business it hasn’t gone much beyond a box ticking exercise, in the sense of ‘more engaged employees, so what?’
An eloquent article by Professor Ivan Robertson highlights this and why the need is greater than ever to get on top of improving the lot of employees before performance gains can even be considered. The core of the piece highlights the fact that:
- Employee engagement is a loose catch-all for a multitude of constituent factors that deliver more positive attitudes at work
- Improvement in engagement doesn’t guarantee improved performance
- Organisations have to be serious, visible and genuine for meaningful results to follow
And the interesting thing for me is that he alludes to the fact that a business can have a very happy, fulfilled and engaged workforce, yet improvements in its performance isn’t guaranteed. The opposite holds true as well – focus on discretionary performance improvement can adversely affect business results if employee wellbeing, and consequently engagement, is secondary.
Employee Engagement and Motivation
In our view, the key to raising the bar on real, measureable business results is to get under the skin of employee engagement, and relate it to employee motivation through strategic programmes that galvanise employee goals, focus and emotional commitment together under one roof.
Only then will the enormous effort and expense spent on learning and development, recognition, rewards, and communication pay real and sustainable dividends: ones such as better train services and loyal rail travellers, for example.
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Look at how 'disengaged' employees can deliver more ££££ than other segments