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: Career Development is Key to Reducing Employee Turnover

London-based life science sector recruiter ProClinical published research this week, showing a direct link between high employee engagement and career development. This doesn’t come as any surprise to those who follow such things with interest and, whilst this relates to a particular industry sector, there is clear evidence that the principle applies across sectors.

The research showed a clear drop-off in engagement amongst employees with 3 – 5 years tenure compared with those in their first 6 months. Again, one would say no surprise there; but it is significant and the report describes this as a ‘danger zone’ in which employees are more likely to look to move company.

So how can organisations minimise the risk of employees losing engagement in that ‘danger zone’ period?

The report shows that when asked what had the most influence on their engagement at work, 18% of respondents said, “career support and development opportunities offered by their employer influenced their engagement more than anything else.” (Emphasis added). This supports earlier work by Rigoni and Nelson who found that amongst Millenials, 87% rated professional/career growth as important to them, whilst 68% who believe they have been given opportunities to develop plan to stay with their employer at least another year.

The challenge, of course, is that there are not enough opportunities to meet demand. Research by Paul Thompson and Gene Dalton at Harvard provided great insight into this conundrum: put individuals in charge of their own career development by showing them how to alter their thinking (and practice) about their contribution at work.

The world is constantly changing and so is the primary focus of career development. Now, more than ever, it is vital that both employers and employees recognise that promotion is only one aspect of developing a successful career; building organisational strategies that put employees in charge of their own career development and focus on contribution and not just position, is essential. Given all that is now known on this subject, failure to do so is not a mistake; it is neglect.

Steve Short – Emenex

Blog: How Change Management is Improving Business Performance

Just as the appearance of dark clouds over the British summer landscape causes us to grab a brolly or head indoors, so the delivery of Software as a Service (SAAS) from The Cloud is having a significant impact on how software vendors are having to support their clients in the adoption of their products.

It wasn’t that long ago that software left the vendor warehouse on a CD and the revenue was recognised as soon as it shipped to the distributor.  But Cloud-based SAAS revenue will soon only be recognised when the user actually uses it.
Software vendors now have the ability to monitor the use of their software by end users and to report back to their organisations how much their software is actually being used, and therefore, how much they ought to be paying for its use.  The implications for these software vendors and their channel partners are huge.
Read more.

Alistair Aitchison – Emenex

Case Study – Developing Employee Voice at Network Rail

A detailed study (with slide presentation) from Katy Downes, their Senior Engagement Manager, featuring a campaign to introduce employee voice into their engagement practice and survey.

‘Our message is clear, We Want You To Talk To Us, We Value Your Suggestions And We Are Listening.’

Opinion: When Does Engagement Become Addiction to Work?

Managers need to spot when initiatives to improve employee engagement are pushing staff into workaholic behaviour, writes Dr Sarah-Jane Cullinane

Dr Cullinane of Trinity College, Dublin, writes of an escalating tension existing for managers in balancing the pressures for productivity and innovation with the need to promote a positive working environment for their employees. Often these two goals can seem counterintuitive.

In light of emerging evidence highlighting the adverse health effects of long working hours – such as sleeping problems and risk of stroke – several organisations, such as JPMorgan and Volkswagen, have introduced policies to deter employees from working beyond their contractual hours or answering emails at weekends.

However, many corporate cultures continue to encourage employees to blend their personal and working worlds through onsite sports facilities, the availability of free food and flexible teleworking arrangements. Some even advocate the importance of their ‘hard-working culture’ through their role model CEOs like Tim Cook and Marissa Mayer, who rise before the sun every day to fit in a day’s work before lunch.

But approximately 10 per cent of the US working population have been found to have issues relating to work addiction, with a higher prevalence among professional groups. Read the whole story at People Management.

44% Have Left a Job Because of a Bad Boss

The adage that people leave managers, not companies, seems to be based in truth. 

HRmagazine has featured an independent survey highlighting the experience of staff in relation to ‘bad bosses’.

More than half of employees surveyed were put off by a lack of direction from their managers, while 53% hated micro-management and a lack of freedom in the workplace.  The full story is here.

Rusty Lindquist, VP at BambooHR, suggested that HR should be paying attention to the impact of bad bosses. “Until we quantify the cost, and sufficiently expose it, we’re not likely to receive the help and buy-in we need to tackle the problem,” he told HRmagazine.

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