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: What’s the Lowest Costs Employee Engagement Strategy?

According to an article published this week on HR Zone, it’s really simple: Say “thank you” to your employees. It’s comes with a zero budget, and all common sense says it’s right and good to thank your employees; after all, 80% of employees are said to be motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

The article, by Tami Matthews, goes on to provide specific instructions about how to say thank you:

  • Personal, said aloud thanks from peers, managers and leaders to the individual or team
  • Kudos at meetings, small and large, thanking people
  • Cards with written thanks, given to people or mailed to their home
  • Phone calls directed to a person or team
  • Emails sent to people, including more than just the employees who need to be thanked
  • Recognition on your intranet site
  • An employee of the month award with possibly a picture of the employee and what they did

It should also be specific, says Matthews. I agree with everything she says, it’s all good old fashioned common sense.

However, I couldn’t help but feel a hint of disappointment as I read the article. Have we really got to the point where managers need showing how to thank their employees? If so, then it’s no surprise that employee engagement levels have remained so low for so long. This situation won’t be changed simply by thanks being given, but it certainly would make many workplaces more fun and productive to be in.

Let’s make a start today : Thank you!

Steve Short – Emenex

I Love my Manager

At the Engage for Success conference last month, managers and leaders were top topics. This neatly coincided with the release of Woodreed’s latest thought piece.

In it you’ll find a dozen fabulous tips for line managers to use to better engage their people. Oh, and find out why there’s a sabre-toothed tiger hiding in your stationery cupboard… and what to do about him.

An Employee Value Proposition for the Future of Work – is HR Ready?

As David Peering reminds us in Personnel Today, the editor of Wired magazine once said: “The world will never move this slowly ever again”. This encapsulates the experience of many of us at work – a sense of organisations moving faster and faster with change.

But the scale of change organisations are now facing – with more diverse teams, wider age demographics, more flexible working arrangements – means there has never been a more challenging time to compete for the best people.

Almost 90% of organisations see skills gaps – from soft skills to leadership – remaining as significant, if not more so in the future. In order to close these gaps, employers need to rethink how they attract, recruit, develop and retain the right people.

But this is where HR has the potential to positively influence and make a real impact. Five of the top six rated elements of the employee value proposition – why people want to work for your organisation – are owned by HR!  Read more.

Why Many Leaders Don’t Understand That Employee Engagement Drives Revenue Growth

David Nour, writing for Forbes, recently listened to two accomplished CEOs make a compelling case that employee engagement comes first. It’s a three-part “chicken or egg” question: which stakeholder group should leaders focus on first: customers, employees or investors?

First up was Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40, who believes that in the long run, values are the most critical element in his firm’s success. To give you a further hint how he feels, Ridge doesn’t use the term “manager.” At WD-40, these folks are called coaches.

Second was Alan Mulally. He was ran Boeing Commercial Aircraft and then became CEO of Ford in 2008 when the company was just months away from running out of cash. Interestingly he described his “Our Working Together Management System” that focused on the ways that Ford employees worked together, and described himself as steward of those values and behaviors, rather than the guy who was supposed to have all the solutions.  Read more from these CEOs here.

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