Posts Tagged ‘Employee Engagement’

What if you were the one who pressed the button!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Press the buton We were reflecting last week on the official alert sent in Hawaii warning people a ballistic missile was about to hit – only for it to turn out to be a false alarm!

It’s your worst nightmare, just like when you send an email to the wrong person or even, send to all!

You know, we all make mistakes…granted, some are bigger than others, but we have two choices in our opinion:

Choice 1 – Make everybody involved feel bad and spend copious amounts of time and effort finding out who exactly was to blame.

Choice 2 – Find out where it went wrong to ensure we learn from our mistakes and stop it from happening again.

Let’s look at choice 1 for a moment. Making people feel bad is a waste of energy and no doubt the person involved will be doing a good job of that themselves. We know from our own experience how we love to beat ourselves up when we make an error or even dare to produce a piece of work anything less than perfection! Secondly, finding out who is to blame reflects an unhealthy company culture, one which encourages people to hide errors, lie, avoid accountability, and stifles risk taking and innovation.

Now lets look at Choice 2. Ask yourself who do you know who comes to work and intentionally does a bad job? We bet you’re struggling to think of anyone, and that’s because people generally want to do a good job. So when mistakes are made, rather than spend the time blaming someone for something they didn’t intend to do, find out what and where in the system or process led the individual to the error and change it, learn from it, improve it! Operating in this manner will foster a culture of openness, honesty and learning, where people will step out of their comfort zones and try something new!

If an action was taken with good intent, next time maybe think about the choice you take in response.

If you would like to know more about how you can create a great company culture, come along to one of our Employee Engagement workshops. This workshop will provide you with a framework to understand the key drivers for employee engagement and give you the opportunity to consider what you can do to bring out the best in your teams and increase your productivity and sales. Click here to book your place and we look forward to seeing you soon.

I’ve seen the light!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Clock The shortest day is behind us, but many of us are still going to work in the dark, driving home in the dark and spending the days indoors, not even breaking for lunch. If you’re lucky enough, you may have a lovely view of the daylight out of your window!

Interestingly scientists at the Lighting Research Center have reported that daylit environments increase occupant productivity and comfort, and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate human circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle)!

In a 1999 study “Daylighting in Schools: An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance,” found a high correlation between schools that reported improvements in student test scores upwards of 10 percent and those that reported increased daylight in the classroom.

So why, if natural daylight is so good for us, do we not get more of it? This year we want to challenge you to do at least one of the following:

• Look at your working environment and make the most of your well-lit areas, make plans to share the space with other team members.

• Make sure files and other bulky items are away from the windows letting the light flood in.

• To enhance the benefits of daylight further, find time in your working day to get outside, hear the birds tweet and feel the wind in your hair!

• Design an outdoor space for you and your team to enjoy. Maybe buy a picnic table or some garden furniture. What about developing an edible garden in plant pots for people to pick lettuce leaves in the summer?

Overall, research suggests that daylight and daylit areas are likely to improve worker satisfaction, mood, and productivity, so come on, let’s SPRING into action!

If you want to know more about creating an environment that can positively impact on profit and productivity, why not join us on one of our employee engagement workshops where you can find out some handy hints and tips to put into action.

Leadership…Bah Humbug!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Ebenezer Scrooge, was a cold-hearted miser who despised Christmas. So, what was he like as a leader we wonder? The words difficult and challenging spring to mind and that’s being kind! His behaviours towards poor old Bob were dire, to say the least! He showed Bob very little respect, not even providing the basic resources needed to enhance performance such as heating or good light (having said that, it’s been a bit nippy in Pro-Development Towers recently!) He was totally inconsiderate, work life balance was pitiful, 1:1’s and honest conversations were non-existent as were any performance and development conversations. And forget creativity and innovation, the negative culture would have stifled that!

However, throughout all this, Bob continued to work hard and provide for his family, but we would suggest he wasn’t engaged in his work!

We have invited Mr Scrooge onto our next Employee Engagement workshop on 23rd January however he is yet to accept the invitation! However we feel that once he sees into the future of how an engaged workforce can increase profit and productivity, he might change his mind!

We have also suggested he might want to join one of our next Leadership Development Programmes commencing in January or March 2018. He said he’d sleep on it. We do hope he has a good night’s sleep.

If you know of anyone who has Scrooge like characteristics, why not point them in our direction. We can help them move from the past, reflect on the present and feel hopeful about what’s yet to come!

scrooge

How productive are you and your employees?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

engaged-workplace Have you seen the recent news about the productivity of UK workers, or rather lack of it? Output per hour is 16% lower than other G7 countries and a French, US or German worker produces more in 4 days than a UK worker can produce in 5

We had the pleasure of attending an event run by HSBC this week where the Bank of England Agent for Yorkshire and the Humber, Juliette Healey shared her concerns about lack of productivity and how this will make it difficult for UK businesses to compete globally. Part of the issue is reported to be lack of investment in buildings, machines, tools and computers. But there’s no doubt that we need our workers to be more productive as well.

At Pro-Development we’re passionate about helping businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber to increase their productivity through people engagement. To find out more about our approach to employee engagement, click here. Or, why not come along to our next workshop on the morning of the 22nd November, click here for more information and to book your place.

The CIPD identify management development as a solution, with Ben Willmott, CIPD Head of Public Policy advising, “If policy makers are serious about addressing the UK’s long-standing productivity deficit – particularly among the nearly 1.3 million small businesses that employ between 1 and 50 people – then they have to start seriously thinking about how to improve management quality, which the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, Andy Haldane has identified as a key area for focus”.

Our experiential management development programme focuses on the importance of holding honest conversations and managing performance. We have one place left on our next programme commencing in January, click here for more information, or contact us.

13 Ideas to increase employee engagement

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

witch Inspired by the recent Friday 13th and with Halloween just around the corner, here are 13 ideas to increase employee engagement. Some say 13 is unlucky, others say lucky for some. All we know is that employee engagement isn’t down to luck, it comes from having a clear strategy that focuses on bringing out the best in your people. So don’t leave it to luck…what can you do more of to make a positive change?

1. Remind people your company’s mission and values – People need to be reminded of why they are doing what they’re doing.

2. Celebrate achievements – Big or small, they are the solid proof that the work people are putting in has meaning. Refill their energy tanks with some recognition and celebrate their hard work.

3. Celebrate people – Birthdays, promotions, retirements, newcomers welcoming, there are plenty of important moments where people can be put at the forfront of the company. Show them they matter!

4. Give and receive feedback – Keep it simple. Offer a framework or a system that employees can use with confidence and honesty. Let them know you value their opinion and most importantly, act on that feedback.

5. Show respect – This should be the cornerstone for every office interaction.

6. Empower your employees – Nothing creates a greater sense of responsibility and ownership like having the decision power. Don’t be afraid to let people be their own leader.

7. Assign a buddy/mentor for every newcomer – An important part of the onboarding process is having some really important questions answered. Questions that someone would be hesitant to simply ask a manager.

8. Recognise and encourage innovation – Reward your creative team members. Recognise them for going the extra mile.

9. Encourage learning – Challenge and support employees in learning and developing their skills.

10. Get social – Go out, have fun, have teambuilding sessions, join sports competitions and encourage team activities.

11. Make sure that people have all the resources they need – Equip your employees with the tools and systems that will make their job easier. This way, you’ll get them to invest their energy into doing great work, instead of wasting precious time.

12. Understand your level of engagement – Understand and analyse your employees, your teams and the overall workspace. You’ll get some essential pointers into what works and what you can improve.

13. Build long-term engagement – Don’t settle for a quick fix. Develop a long-term employee engagement strategy with clear objectives and action steps for more than a year, then re-evaluate and build on it.

This list has been extracted from Engage for Success 25 engagement ideas Click here to see the full list.

If you would like to know more about employee engagement click here or if you would like to know the level of engagement in your business or would like help building an engagement strategy then contact us.

Is Employee Engagement in your sights?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

ee pic blog sept 17 The link between employee engagement and productivity means that it’s a hot topic. As a result, it’s been in the news recently with an article in the Guardian discussing a recent study from the University of Warwick. This revealed that happy and engaged staff are 12 percent more productive and that low employee engagement is costing the UK £340 billion a year in lost productivity.

So how do we measure Employee Engagement? The CIPD believe that a single metric is too simplistic and rather than a single score, a range of relevant metrics are more enlightening and actionable. We agree which is why we measure against 10 themes and recommend employee interviews as well as an online questionnaire to ensure we have a balance of qualitative and quantitative research. This enables us to develop as full a picture as possible in order to identify specific areas for improvement. Increasing your employee engagement scores will help to increase productivity and ultimately profit. Come along to our employee engagement workshop on the 22nd November and you’ll leave with an action plan to start improving employee engagement in your workplace. Click here to book your place.

Look out for more from the study next week when we’ll tell you about the benefits of working outdoors.

What part can we all play to increase productivity?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

productivity

A recent report by the BBC noted that the productivity of UK workers has dropped back to pre-financial crisis levels. The Office for National Statistics stated that hourly output fell 0.5% in the first three months of the year, and Economists have warned that the UK’s productivity continues to lag behind its major trading partners such as the US, France and Germany.

Ian Brinkley, acting chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development stated that “Unless more is done to tackle the nation’s low productivity, people’s wages and living standards will continue to fall and the UK will be ill-equipped to compete once we do leave the EU.” Other economists, however, have said productivity – which is output divided by hours spent producing it – has partly fallen because there are record numbers of people in work.

Whatever the reason, we need to think about what part we can all play in increasing productivity and we strongly believe that having an engaged workforce is a crucial factor to business success. Just imagine if people in your business wanted to and could give their best each day. What difference would that make to the energy, the enthusiasm, the creativity, the effort they each put in? What difference would that make to you?

The good news is, you don’t just have to imagine as we have seen many of our clients take positive steps which have made a difference for their and people and their business. “With Pro-Development, our business has seen and experienced a totally different approach and a very positive level of results, both financially and in the progress of the business. Pro-Development have worked with our teams in their unique way with a programme of activity to support our employee engagement. Pro-Development’s programmes and continuing developments at all levels of the business, including directors, has given a new perspective to people’s approach to business life within our group of companies. Without doubt, any business wanting to grow and develop should have no reservation in working with Pro-Development, and I would strongly encourage you to at least have a look at how they can help you”. Roger Bodill | Chairman, RB Associates

We believe a good starting point is to give employees a voice, to listen to them, to understand what’s working for them and what’s getting in their way. However, this is only valuable if people are open and honest, and leaders are brave enough to listen (and we mean really listen) to what people have to say. This is where we can help, our employee engagement surveys provide a means for confidential and anonymous feedback, and our analysis of the results are presented back in an honest and balanced manner, providing real insight.

However, there is little point on gathering insight if you don’t take action on the results, and this is where, in our experience, many companies fall down. At Pro-Development, we work closely with businesses to identify actions and act as a conscience to ensure key actions are delivered to drive up employee engagement.

Ultimately, the research is out there, it’s a fact that an engaged workforce can drive up productivity on average by 5% and profit on average by 12%. And, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to see an increase like that on their bottom line? We are here to help you and love making a difference so if you would like to increase your productivity and have a highly engaged workforce, why not come along to our next workshop.

If you would like to join us at our next workshop to find out what you can do to bring the best out in your teams, increase productivity and sales which links directly to your bottom line then choose a date below and book a place. We have had such great feedback about our workshops that we know that it will be a great few hours invested!

The next available workshop dates are 13th September and 11th October 2017 from 10am-12noon followed by a light lunch with the chance to network and it will be held at our offices at Forest Farm Business Park, Fulford, YORK, YO19 4RH. All just for £25 + VAT to cover room hire and lunch. See you there!

ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

engaged faces pic We are currently undertaking many employee engagement surveys around Yorkshire identifying what’s working for companies and what might be getting in their way. It is by understanding this kind of information that you can truly make a difference as your efforts and actions are focused on doing the right thing, not doing what you ‘think’ is right.

Companies take the time to understand engagement levels as this is so important to continued success and can springboard companies to the next level. Research shows that organisation’s with high levels of employee engagement are more efficient and effective, and that highly engaged employees:

• are more productive, find they are more creative and innovative at work, and take less time off sick;

• are more customer focussed, care about the future of their organisation and put in greater effort to help it meet its objectives and keep customers satisfied;

• feel proud of the organisation they work for and are inspired to do their best and will be huge advocates of the business and it’s products and services.

• are more likely to stay and with the cost of losing a good person now being equated to 12-18 months of their salary, that in itself is a great reason to focus on employee engagement.

There’s plenty of evidence out there to support the facts above and we have certainly seen this ourselves through the work that we do around the region. As part of our role in the Engage for Success movement looking at how to raise engagement levels across Yorkshire, Pro-Development run interactive 2-hour workshops “How important is Employee Engagement to your business success?” They are aimed at business owners, HR professionals, leaders and managers to help understand what they can do to help increase morale, motivation, engagement, growth and productivity of their teams.

If you would like to join us at our next workshop to find out what you can do to bring the best out in your teams, increase productivity and sales which links directly to your bottom line then choose a date below and book a place. We have had such great feedback about our workshops that we know that it will be a great few hours invested!

The next available workshop dates are 13th September and 11th October 2017 from 10am-12 noon followed by a light lunch with the chance to network and it be held at our offices at Forest Farm Business Park, Fulford, YORK, YO19 4RH. All just for £25 + VAT to cover room hire and lunch. See you there!

How well do you listen?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Listening We were really excited to hold another of our Employee Engagement workshops yesterday. People often ask us what we mean by Employee Engagement. The definition we like to use is “a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their company’s goals and values, motivated to contributing to success and able at the same time to enhance their own sense of wellbeing”. This can be simplified to setting the right workplace conditions to help people to ‘be their best’. One of the most important things we can do is to really listen to people. Feeling that you are listened to is important, but to really engage people we need to go even deeper, do we really listen to understand people?

How do we demonstrate that we really understand people? Not through an annual appraisal according to recent CIPD research. Many companies are moving away from the traditional appraisal to an emphasis on a continuous development dialogue and high-quality conversations and feedback. Managers need to be supported in how to have rich conversations, including giving and receiving honest feedback. One of the greatest gifts you can give your people is time for them to talk and for you to listen to them, to understand them and to find out what really motivates them and how they like to feel valued and recognised. We often practice selective listening, or we listen to respond, to move our own agenda forward. Listening to understand is completely different. We listen with our eyes as well as our ears, and by really listening, we give the other person time to think. Stephen Covey calls this giving people ‘psychological air’. It’s rare but powerful and can make a real difference to engagement not just in the workplace but with friends and family too. We often find when we run employee engagement projects, that when we interview people and ask questions of how engaged they are at work and really truly listen to them, people will often tell us that it is the first time they have felt anyone has really “heard them” and will tell us that they have found it really helpful just being able to talk. Next time you sit down for a chat, think about the quality of your own listening, and take time to listen to understand – it can be very engaging! We’d love to know what difference it makes.

To find out more about our Employee Engagement projects including surveys and interviews click here. To find out how to support your managers to have honest conversations and to give and receive feedback, click here.

Listening 2

Why its important to have engaged employees!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We’ve been doing lots of Employee Engagement work recently with a varied range of clients in and around Yorkshire who have been getting some great insights to help them build their business. Alongside this, Michelle is speaking at a few events and conferences in the coming months.

happy smily head So, why is it important to consider how engaged your employees actually are?

For a start, if your employees are engaged they’ll be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. But equally great, you could also see a 12% increase in profit alone not to mention the increase in staff retention and 5% increase in productivity. We could go on!

Did you know? It can cost 12-18 months’ salary to replace an employee (Source: HayGroup, How to stop your talent taking flight, September 2013).

This might seem like an excessively high figure, but take time to consider the following, often hidden costs:

  • Recruitment, on boarding and training costs
  • Time spent on the exit process
  • Juggling workload and temp costs
  • Loss of expertise and productivity
  • Managing turnover
  • Quality problems and customer dissatisfaction

Here are some of our top tips from working with lots of different clients to help get you started….
  • Start with engaged people, recruit well
  • Create and share a vision for the future, one that is understood and resonates with all
  • Set clear expectations, and provide regular honest feedback
  • Are you developing your managers to bring out the best in their teams?
  • Rewards and Recognition, make the time to recognise what your staff are doing and say thanks!
  • Be Trustworthy, honour your commitments and trust others
  • Work/Life Balance, understand different needs of your people and try to be flexible
engaged-workplace Click this link to read more about our approach to measuring Employee Engagement in your business

If you’d like to know more, Michelle will be speaking at the following events:-

South York Networking Meet Up, York – 28th April 2016 4pm

Meet new contacts and understand more about Employee Engagement

Book your place here lnkd.in/ewJbNcp

The Business Network, York – 15th June 2016 Workshop 11.00- 12 noon

Engaging your people will increase your profits

Conference in London – end of June/early July

Details to follow, watch this space!