From the future of engagement, to engagement in the future
7th July, Aston University, Birmingham
As many of you know, Michelle Mook is part of the Engage for Success Group, a movement committed to the idea that there is a better way to work; a better way to enable personal growth, organisational growth and ultimately growth for the UK by releasing more of the capability and potential of people at work.
Over the last few years the Engage for Success Movement has brought together the experience of leading practitioners, the ideas and research of leading academics, and the findings of think tanks, to share learning and practical guidance on “the what, the why and the how” of employee engagement.
Michelle participated in their July event which took a look at how employee engagement has developed. Having been around for ten years now, it has developed beyond a fad to become embedded in many organisations. The day looked at where we have got to with employee engagement and more importantly, where we will take it in the future, both as a concept and area of practice.
This special event focussed on the recently published thought leadership pieces written by a selection of leading academics and business leaders, all experts in their field, which offer different perspectives based on their area of activity: practice, consultancy and research. Their varied contributions reflect a number of current discussions that take place in relation to employee engagement, including some of the more challenging perspectives that can easily be overlooked, and give strong pointers on what needs to happen next for the area to maintain relevance.
One of the speakers that really struck a chord for Pro-Development, was Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of CIPD who talked to us about how employee engagement is changing and what drives it. He highlighted that one of the critical enables of engagement is the ability to build trust and factors that help to drive trust are integrity, benevolence and competence. As we’ve highlighted to you before, trust is a real issue in many organisations with research suggesting that only 36% of employees trust senior leaders.
Peter pointed out that we have known for a long time what really motivates or demotivates people and that the main drivers are:-
• Purpose – providing employees with direction and focus
• Autonomy – giving employees the space to act (letting go and empowering your teams)
• Mastery – everyone wants to improve and our job as managers or organisations is to help our employees improve.
He shared the work of Engage for Success in identifying the Four Enablers for engagement and how it can be useful to assess effectiveness through these lenses:-
1. Visible, empowering leadership providing a strong strategic narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going.
2. Engaging managers who focus their people and give them scope, treat their people as individuals and coach and stretch their people.
3. There is employee voice throughout the organisation, for reinforcing and challenging views, between functions and externally, employees are seen as central to the solution.
4. There is organisational integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours. There is no ‘say –do’ gap.
He also reminded us that what gets measured, gets done! It is important to ensure you are measuring the right things at the right time and tracking your success.
In summary, his key points were:-
• Engagement is a strategic issue
• Start from the top
• You need measures
• Develop and train managers
• Provide channels for employee voice and feedback.
Thank you again to Engage for Success and Aston University for another successful event and an opportunity for us to share what the challenges are for SMEs in our area in helping raise employee engagement. For more information relating to this story and Engage for Success, click here
Yet again, we came away from the event with a spring in our step ready to help get our SMEs in Yorkshire thinking about what they are doing to “get engaged” – and if you don’t know where to start or how to measure it, just give us a call and we will work with you to design an approach that will work for you and your business.