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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: Strategies for Employee Engagement in a Gig Economy

Recent research from EY showed some illuminating data on the so-called ‘Gig Economy’ (i.e. the economy that depends on freelance/contingent workers who take short-term contracts (or ‘gigs’)). For example, by 2020, a quarter of organisations expect freelance workers to make up at least 30% of the workforce, with almost one in five workers being freelance by the same time.

It is interesting research, but the most important question for us is, what does this mean for employee engagement? How do organisations approach the challenge of engaging both their permanent employees and increasing numbers of freelance/contingent workers? And how do their needs differ?

Although there are obvious differences (for example contracts, hiring processes, terms and conditions, etc.) in practice they aren’t so different at all; they are all people hired to perform some tasks and they all need (some may argue, have a right) to be treated in a way that enables them to choose to engage. In his book Trust Factor, Paul Zak suggests treating all employees, regardless of their employment status, as volunteers. His rationale is that in effect they are volunteers; whether permanent or on contract, they choose each day whether to bring the best of themselves to work and give from their resource of discretionary effort, or whether to simply bump along doing the minimum they can get away with.

Line managers also make daily choices: will I show my reports (regardless of their employment status) that I appreciate the work they are doing? Will I be a positive role model to them? When I need to challenge them on a particular shortcoming, will I do that in a respectful and professional manner that results in their growth and development? In short, will I choose to be an employee engager?

By simple logic, then, the key to engaging any member of staff, whether volunteer, permanent employee or contingent worker is the same: train and coach line managers to make engaging behavioural choices, that will result in employees making the choice to be engaged too.

Let’s not overcomplicate things with different strategies for different groups.

Steve Short – Emenex


Blog: Are You Ignoring the Costly ‘Elephants in the Offices’ in Your Organisation?

Every organisation has them, but how many of us budget for those ‘Elephant in the Office’ costs of disengagement, absenteeism and employee turnover and elephant-in-the-room-1024x736report them on their P&L?  Further, how many use these costs as a lever to secure investment to first, reduce them, and secondly, reap the benefits that come from improved engagement and productivity?

The costs of employee disengagement, productivity loss, absenteeism, and employee turnover, sit on a spectrum that all organisations experience, as employees make their employment journeys.  When we first enter an organisation, or accept a new role within our existing organisation, we anticipate that our enthusiasm for the new challenge is high enough to keep up fully engaged – our initial challenge being to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that we need to be successful in that role.  It is when we have reached that ‘point of peak performance’ that a more complex challenge presents itself, as the way forward becomes less clear and we ask ourselves what should we do next?  Read more.

Alistair Aitchison – Emenex


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How to Move Beyond the Rhetoric on Employee Engagement

Organisations discuss the actions and ideas that make engagement a reality at CIPD conference

People Management reports here on this recent conference, highlighting inputs shared from private and public sector participants.


How Local Attention Can Solve The Global Retention Problem

Writer, Julie Winkle Giulioni makes a prediction: one of the items generating the lowest satisfaction scores on your company’s employee engagement survey is something like ‘greater opportunities for advancement.’ How many surveys and how much lost talent will it take for leaders to recognize the seriousness of this situation?

Think about the time and resources dedicated to other dimensions of the business—processes, finances, operations, etc.—none of which are possible without people. And yet every day, we let skilled, capable workers walk out the door, taking their knowledge and talents to the competition. If equipment disappeared at this rate, there would be swift action. Rather that wait for senior leadership to take systematic steps to stem the loss of talent, maybe it’s time for individual managers to take action.

Want to keep your best talent and find ways to help others grow?  Then consider her straightforward ideas here.


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

Join this Webinar on Wednesday next week to hear how this leading, UK financial services group – with over 80,000 staff worldwide – is meeting its ambition ‘to be the best bank for customers’; and shaping its culture accordingly.  Topics covered will include:

  • Evolving their approach to employee engagement from transactional to transformational.
  • Using new technologies to listen to employees, including regular census and pulse surveys.

Registration details here.


63% Of Employees Don’t Trust Their Leader — Here’s What You Can Do To Change That

Writing for forbes, Christine Comaford tells us that trust in CEOs is at an all-time low, plunging 12 points in the last year.  It’s worldwide and pervasive across business and government.  Read her views on why this is happening and details of her remedies.  The result she’s aiming at? A culture where trust, true rapport, connection, alignment, enrollment and engagement live.


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