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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: Employee Retention is Becoming Even More Important

We live in challenging times. According to recent research conducted by Mercer, the UK currently faces a ‘double whammy’: a labour crisis brought on by the ageing population (which could become a bigger challenge post-Brexit, as immigration is likely to reduce); and a skills shortage compounded by automation and digitalisation.

Mercer predict that between now and 2030, the total population will grow from 3% to 5% faster than the workforce, meaning a higher dependency ratio as fewer people will be in work and more will be retired and need to be paid for, with obvious ramifications for GDP, healthcare costs and economic growth.

For organisations, there are more local concerns. If Brexit results in more difficulty to access key workers from mainland Europe, how will organisations successfully recruit the most talented people to fill essential roles? And even if some people’s fears about Brexit prove unfounded, many already experience a highly competitive labour market.

It sounds a somewhat gloomy outlook, but Mercer are right in identifying the first line of defence as being “Buy, Build, Retain.” In other words, recruit the best people to fill critical roles, and then develop people within the organisation to continue fulfilling key roles. Many organisations are too quick to look outside for new talent, when with the right development and support they could retain the people they already have to perform new roles and skills.

As the workforce becomes increasingly competitive, so retaining current employees becomes even more important; those organisations that invest in strategies to raise engagement (for example developing careers and supporting managers to be ‘people engagers’) and thus retain their employees can gain a significant competitive advantage.

Steve Short – Emenex


Blog: Employee Voice Seminar Outputs

On 23rd November 2016, Emenex welcomed 45 members of the movement Engage For Success to IBM’s South Bank Conference Centre to share ideas on one of the 4 Key Enablers of Employee Engagement – Employee VoiEFS-logoce (EV).

IBM KenexaIdentified (all 4) by research conducted for E4S (Strategic Narrative, Engaging Managers, Employee Voice and Integrity), it is Employee Voice that is seeing the fastest level of innovation in response to the appetite of younger employees. Millennials in particular, are keen to share their ideas on how to improve the working environment and performance of their organisations.

In the final session of the seminar we asked participants to consider and discuss 4 key questions pertaining to their EV approach that will be the topic for further exploration over a series of blogs in the coming weeks.Employee Voice

Our first questions asked: What is your vision for EV in your organisation?  Three themes emerged – see link below.

And in my last blog I discussed the need for the HR community to highlight the cost of absenteeism and employee turnover within their organisations as a mechanism of freeing up budget to pay for the increased frequency of employee listening.  This is the critical first step in elevating EV to a strategic issue within the senior leadership team.

Seminar participants recognise that if EV is solely owned by the HR community and not by the senior leadership team it will never reach the strategic level of importance that it could and should play in the successful growth and development of the organisation.  So establishing the business case for investment is key.

To see more delegate feedback, and the stimulus for forthcoming topics see my Blog in full.

Alistair Aitchison – Emenex


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Economic Transformation is the Biggest Driver of Change in Organisations

New research exposes top trends that are shaping the future of work, and impacting the HR profession

The CIPD’s latest research in association with Workday on the trends and challenges facing HR, has shown that economic shift, including globalisation and Brexit, is currently the most common driver of change in UK organisations. The report also predicts that economic change is most likely to hinder the achievement of organisational objectives over the next three years. But over a fifth of senior HR leaders (two-fifths of HR as a whole), feel unable to influence change in their people approach. Why is it that the biggest driver of change is also the area of change where HR professionals are least likely to be taking action?

In response to a recent speech by the Prime Minister on the Brexit negotiations, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said, ‘Given the implications for migration, it’s more important than ever that businesses look ahead and plan their people strategies, and understand the skills and talents they need in order to ensure that they are prepared for the future, regardless of what the final arrangements look like.’

This new research also reveals that the demand for flexible working and changing demographics are the second and third biggest drivers of organisation change, after economic transformation. Read CIPD’s piece in full here.


What is the Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Productivity?

Wide-ranging research into the links between employee engagement and higher productivity will be presented next month at the Co-operative Retail Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.

A study, which began in 2009, has looked at 480 organisations with 5,000 employees, and the results will be presented by Unai Elorza, lecturer in HR management at Mondragon University.

“Employee engagement is like supporting a football team,” said Dr Elorza. “One is feeling the team’s colours, always with the team, ready to make efforts for the overall good of the organisation, willing to sacrifice self-interests for the good of the organisation, feeling proud of being part of it and feeling owner of it.”  The causes of disengagement, however, can be complex.

This article reveals more of the study’s findings.


Lloyds Banking Group: Using Engagement Measurement and Insights to Deliver on the Group’s Vision

If you missed this HCI webcast last week you can watch on demand and download the presentation slides from here. Main focus from Lloyds Banking Group was:

  • Evolving their approach to employee engagement from transactional to transformational.
  • Using new technologies to listen to employees, including regular census and pulse surveys.
  • Measuring and acting on key drivers for employee engagement and performance excellence, using IBM Kenexa’s High Performance Engagement Model.
  • Conducting advanced analytics to provide deeper insights on employee feedback.
  • Building knowledge and capability for leaders and line managers to act on survey findings.

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