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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: Businesses View Older Workers as the Most Talented Employees

Today, there is a ray of sunshine for ‘those of us of a certain age’ amidst the doom and gloom in the news. According to the 2016 CIPD Attitudes to Employability and Talent survey of more than 2,000 HR managers and line managers (full report published here this month, September 2016), older workers are perceived as the most talented and employable of all underrepresented demographic groups in the workforce; disabled people, migrant workers and parents returning to work also score highly.

We welcome this CIPD report, particularly because it so clearly draws out the role of employers (for which we read ‘managers’) in developing employability. It isn’t just about the employee. Whilst recognising that ‘employability’ is a subjective measure, the report emphasises clearly the significance of ‘employability-based work relationships as mutually beneficial exchanges…’ (page 14). It encourages development on ‘the assumption that employability is a viable alternative to job security, increasing an individual’s ability to move between jobs and organisations through their own marketability.’

There is an apocryphal story of a CFO, who asks the CEO: What happens if we spend money training our people and then they leave? The CEO replies: What happens if we don’t and they stay?

Employers will do well to remember that employing older people (over 55s in this research), highly adaptable immigrant workers and returning parents won’t in itself result in higher engagement scores; very few people remain highly engaged without any positive, on-going input from their manager. But when senior leaders encourage and expect every manager to nurture employability-based work relationships with those who report to them, employees are released to be ‘the best that they can be’ – and to be highly engaged and productive. What better way to really engage with your team and hear what they have to say?

As Richard Branson once said: ‘Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.’


Blog: Listening Lessons for Organisations from Salford City

Salford City has drawn more than its fair share of attention of late with the BBC moving its broadcasting studios there and more recently a television documentary entitled Class of 92: Out of Their League, highlighting the ups and downs of football ownership from the perspective of 5 ex-Manchester United players: Ryan GiggsGary NevillePhil NevillePaul Scholes and Nicky Butt who in 2012 took a 50% ownership position in the club.

On Friday I sat with my 18 year-old son, himself a keen player, to catch up on how the team did in their second season, having won promotionClass of 92 in their first season. The first half of the programme was quite depressing to watch as the team failed to perform to expectations and the joint managers approach to motivation was to shout louder and include more and more swear words that the programme makers eventually gave up bleeping them out! It was a great example of management at its worst!

Fortunately the managers reached a point where they stepped back, took a look at themselves in the mirror and asked themselves some questions around their approach and decided to try another way.  Instead of shouting, they started listening and asking.  What is going wrong?  Why?  What can we do to change what we are doing?

What are the lessons? Read more here.


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


What if Engagement Was a Risk Management Issue?

Ron Thomas quotes Bob Jones, chairman and CEO of Old National Bancorp: “We have a fundamental belief that our single most important asset is our people. If you think about the industry, and assets and liabilities, it’s all about maintaining risk. For us that means developing a culture where we’re so focused on making sure they have all the right tools to do their jobs.”

Thomas suggests that not to manage your most important assets properly, would be considered a huge risk to any organisation. And given that CEOs/CFOs have an interest in managing risk, says Thomas, maybe this is the language to use to make the business case that engagement really does impact the bottom line. Perhaps then, some would be less inclined to dismiss the concept of engagement as ‘soft science.’

You can read the full article here.


David Zinger The New Employee Engagement

David offers you a two minute overview of his work on The New Employee Engagement


How Leaders Can Recharge Employee Engagement And Satisfaction

Summer is a time of reflection when employees often contemplate a possible transition.  Visionary leaders should consider how to ensure that their employees returning from their summer reverie are motivated, satisfied and engaged.  From Forbes Coaches Council, here are some detailed, behavioural strategies that can increase your employees’ work happiness. These strategies will also enable you to maintain a committed, cohesive and enthusiastic team while bolstering your own leadership development.


Stop Spending, Start Managing

From Harvard Business Review

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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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