A recent Gallup survey showed that only 24% of employees are engaged with their organisation and in May a CBI report highlighted how critical employee engagement is in weathering the recession. The Training Foundation's white paper, authored by David Macleod, of the Macleod Report to Government on Employee Engagement (May 2009), highlights a different approach for managers.
Employee engagement is just one element that contributes to business improvement and has to be assessed in conjunction with employee motivation and performance improvement strategies to really deliver business improvement.
The white paper recommends a reappraisal of engagement strategies away from big-picture (work-life balance, leadership charisma) and more toward the employee-manager relationship and the workplace climate, and strengthening trust.
The engagement rules suggested are:
- Engagement is founded on trust - in the manager and the organisation
- Engagement is driven by emotions - a view supported by the findings of occupational psychologists and other research.
- Engagement is 20% culture, 80% climate - the role of the manager is critical here. The Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development's publication Becoming an Employer of Choice states that "70% of people leave their manager and not the job".
Once Engaged, Motivate
Engagement is just one part of the equation. Improvements in performance will result, however, if engagement is considered as part of a performance improvement strategy, then the results are likely to be far superior - a typical performance improvement strategy here would involve:
- Managers' training in employee engagement
- Definition, measurement and communication of expected standards and performance for the whole organisation (managers and employees), goal setting strategies would be ideal here
- Reward performance improvements for employees and managers
- Recognise stellar achievers and portray as role models
- Research attitudes and results to gain an ROI
- Implement improvements
Obviously we'd be more than happy to talk through how to improve any employee engagement issues.
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