Every two weeks we bring you opinion, news and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Organisational Performance, along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.

Editorial: Release Your Employees to do Extraordinary Things

Imagine for a minute a world in which every employee comes to work choosing to be fully engaged and to put all their energy and passion into making their organisation great; we believe every organisation could be like this.

Most published research, however, suggests that the majority of people are disengaged at work, less productive than they could be and therefore under-performing against organisational expectations; we believe that it doesn’t have to be like this.

What’s the basis of our optimism? Are we wishful thinkers?

No. We simply observe day in, day out that individuals respond to leaders who lead, and who demonstrate genuine belief in and passion for the organisation’s vision and values, and who demonstrate a belief and trust in them.

If you want to tap into the discretionary effort of your employees, and gain their commitment and willingness to go the extra mile for you and the organisation, and release them to achieve extraordinary things, begin here:

Ask             Talk to your employees and find out what they really think; do this frequently, both formally and informally;

Analsyse    Dig into what they say to identify the problem areas and really understand what’s going on;

Act              There’s no point Asking and Analysing if you do nothing with the data you gather; having identified problems, Act to resolve them.

As Stephen Covey said: “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”

Blog: When Values Really Matter…

Most organisations have a set of published values; some even work according to them! The organisation’s shared values (when aligned with those of the individual employees) enable everyone to work together to deliver results according to the priorities the organisation is working to. Values are the philosophies or principles describing what is important to an organisation, that guide its internal conduct and its working relationships with customers, partners and stakeholders.

And we know that when values are the benchmark for everything the organisation does, from top to bottom, employee engagement levels will be higher than where the published values are simply ignored.

In effect, it is their values that enable an organisation’s leaders to decide what they will do, and what they won’t; this is always important, but especially when an organisation is asked to behave in a way that contradicts the values.

The Football Association beautifully illustrated this this week.  Read more.

It’s time to move beyond engagement.  Empower and align employees with organisational priorities to build a culture of high performance, well being and career satisfaction.  To learn more, call 03450 523 593

How Employee Engagement Differs by Gender

A recent study found that men and women are motivated by different things to perform better at work, says Lauren Acurantes, reporting on a recent study of more than 200,000 employees in the US and Europe, conducted by analytics firm Peakon.

For example, both men and women are equally motivated by strategy whereas women at 42% are more motivated by organisational fit than men. Accomplishment, on the other hand, has a 50% greater influence on men than on women, reports Acurantes.

The report also points out, she says, that what drives men and women to be more engaged at work may also be the result of employers treating the sexes differently.

[Motivation and employee engagement aren’t the same thing, but it’s an interesting piece of research. What’s your experience of gender differences in employee engagement? We’d love to hear you views on this – Ed.]

Most of us would agree that a strong organisational culture is vital for organizational success. So as the organizational goals and strategy change over time, so too should culture intentionally be changed.

The best leaders ask, “Who do we need to be (culture) in order to achieve what we’re trying to do (strategic goals)?” But there’s one barrier that holds many organizations back from genuine and successful culture change: ownership. The first question to ask when culture change is on the horizon shouldn’t be, “How do we go about this?” but rather, “Who owns this?”

The answer – rather too often – is HR.

While culture change can be an important and exciting project for HR, making it HR’s sole responsibility doesn’t work out as anyone had hoped. Too often, it devolves into a transactional ‘box-ticking’ exercise. Unless it’s the official responsibility of business unit leaders, it’s otherwise hard to move culture change to the top of their agenda.

True culture change means altering the way the organization lives and breathes. It shapes the way people make decisions, get their work done, what they prioritize, and how they interact with colleagues, clients, and customers. It is really only successful and powerful when business leaders see it as their responsibility, and see HR as a resource for helping them achieve it.

Read more from Harvard Business Review about how HR leaders can help business executives successfully execute culture change by working collaboratively and doing four things in particular.

Workers Pessimistic about Brexit

More than two in five (44%) working adults say they feel pessimistic about the future because of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, according to a report from the CIPD.

The survey asked just over 1,000 working adults a range of questions, including how they feel about the future after Brexit. Pessimism was particularly high among public sector workers (61%), voluntary sector staff (58%) and people aged 25 to 34 (63%).

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD said, “Hopefully as the political and economic situation becomes clearer pessimism will subside, but in the short term there is a clear need for UK employers to do more to engage with their workforces about the likely effects of Brexit on their organisation. The survey exposes clear signs of worry among the UK workforce that, if left unchecked, could lead to associated issues such as stress and anxiety.”  More here.

Take Charge of your career, team or organisation by aligning individual goals with organisational priorities. To learn more, call 03450 523 593

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Emenex helps organisations get the best from and for their people.

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