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: Where You Look Determines Where You Go

As I write this, the uncertainty and division caused by the entrenched Brexit negotiations in parliament show no immediate signs of being resolved. The issue is unavoidably and constantly in front of us and can easily become all-consuming.

With that backdrop, an article recently published by the London Business School intrigued me. It identified one of the current trends for businesses as a move from performance management to performance leadership. The writer, Professor Dan Cable, suggests the problem with performance management is that it is necessarily looking backwards, with the risk that businesses eventually (and very efficiently!) produce goods and service that no one requires.

By contrast, performance leadership “encourages teams to work together to solve problems and stay market competitive… [it] is when an employee understands that her job is to find ways to do her job even better, and brings her unique talents, passions and interests to the work.” It is a forward looking process, focused on and rewarding growth and learning.

With current political uncertainties causing turmoil for business, it is too easy to be weighed down with the weight of pressures in what Covey described as our Circle of Concern. In the current political and business climate, we need even more than usual to focus on what we can influence – and that involves looking outwards and looking ahead, not inwards and behind. We cannot change the past, but there is a chance we can make small steps each day to influencing our future, at a local level, despite the wider uncertainty.

Steve Short – Emenex

Strathclyde Business School Lands £1m Innovation Fund

Strathclyde Business School’s Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) has been awarded funding by the ESRC for a £1 million project investigating management practices and their effect on innovation and productivity.

The SCER project is entitled “Improving management practices: work engagement and workplace innovation for productivity and wellbeing” and will be led by Professor Patricia Findlay and Professor Colin Lindsay, supported by SCER researchers Jo McQuarrie and Eli Dutton.

Director of SCER, Professor Patricia Findlay said, “This programme will build on SCER’s research over recent years on workplace innovation, job quality and fair work. It will focus on the workplace practices and factors that support innovation, enhance productivity and deliver employee engagement and well-being. Our aim is to identify work practices that can deliver positive business outcomes and benefit employees at the same time. In Scotland, we have one of the most highly qualified workforces in Europe but productivity outcomes don’t fully reflect this – part of the explanation of why is likely to relate to workplace and management practices.”

Read more here about the proposed research.

Two Keys To Increasing Change Success

By combining a growth mindset approach with a commitment to genuine employee engagement and proven knowledge-sourcing tools, organizations can take innovation, collaboration and productivity to new levels, argues Brian Anderson for Forbes.

This approach requires evolving the managerial mindset. That is, in a fixed mindset, the focus is on talent, IQ and innate ability. In a growth mindset, effort goes toward taking risks, learning and practicing, building on achievement over time, and the benefits of collaboration and mentorship.

Anderson sets out his thinking here.

Finesse Your Way to Greater Engagement

Tailoring engagement initiatives to the greatest common denominator misses crucial demographic segments. To develop the ideal recipe for 100 percent employee engagement, let individual personality drive your company’s management and social policies.Culture has become the go-to ingredient in the employee engagement sauce, but corporate cultures come in many flavours.  In short, suggests Chris Dyer for HR Technologist, more flavours engage more people.  Rather than regarding all staff as one homogeneous unit, the key here is finding ways to socially engage people within their comfort zones, to treat them as individuals.  The full story here.

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