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: Risk Taker or Safe Pair of Hands: Which Are You?

City and Guilds, the provider of services to training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors worldwide, report that 87% of employers struggle to recruit staff who have the skills they need; of these, 38% highlight management roles as the hardest to fill.

Within that context, it is heartening that the ILM reports “93% of employers say their managers perform better after taking an ILM qualification – proof that providing tailored, flexible, vocational training works.”

There may be a connection between these two sets of data. If employers are struggling to find people with the required skills, and particularly to fill management vacancies, despite the efficacy of ‘tailored, flexible, vocational training,’ could it be that they lack commitment to training and development, preferring to recruit experienced people who have been fully trained by somebody else? It’s a short-sighted, safe-pair-of-hands type of strategy.

We know from research that development opportunities are an important piece in the engagement jigsaw (see, for example, ‘Drive’ by Dan Pink) and our own experience instinctively confirms this as true. We observe that organisations that invest in potential – risky though it may be – get better returns on their investment than those which play safe, investing only in maintenance rather than development.

Steve Short – Emenex

Blog: Do We Really Believe That Change is Possible?

We know that certain things can change.

We know that caterpillars can transform into butterflies.
We see the changes that the seasons bring each year as springtime emerges from the seeming death of winter.
We see the development of children through adolescence into adults as they go on to lead countries and organisations and create technologies that were beyond the imagination of their previous generation.
But why is it that we have a justice system that has no capacity to accept the ability of criminals to change?

Case in Point.
An IT consultant, working for a UK based technology company was recently apprehended and arrested by a group of 6 police at the airport, having just returned from working internationally installing Wi-fi systems into the retail stores of a global company.  The reason? His Crime? His Journey? Read more.

Alistair Aitchison – Emenex

Why Engagement Fails – And What To Do About It

Why are so many companies so ineffective at boosting employee engagement? Heaven knows it’s not for lack of trying—senior leaders and HR staffers spend millions of dollars and countless hours on engagement programs. But the number of people who say they’re engaged in their work has remained stuck at around 30% for years.

To these contributors at Forbes, the problem is that companies think about engagement in exactly the wrong way.

You can get a sense of this ‘wrongheaded wisdom’ by checking out the Gallup organization’s famous 12-question survey, which is one of the tools many organizations use to measure engagement. Most of the questions focus on how employees are treated at work. Do you know what is expected of you? Do you have the tools you need to do your job right? Are you recognized for your contribution and given opportunities for additional learning?

These are all good things in themselves. But look closely, they say, at two underlying assumptions.

How Organisational Transformation Can be Driven Effectively by Human Resources

A key element of an organisation’s effort to stay ahead of the curve is its willingness to transform. With ever-evolving external ecosystem, organisations need to propel productivity and maintain its economics of scope and scale.

To ensure the smooth passage for the process of change, organisations must engage the workforce as an active participant. While 90 percent organizations are at some stage of transformation at any given time, only 30 percent of the initiatives succeed. Therefore, the stakes are very high, and HR leaders – ideally positioned – need proactively to devise strategies to ensure that employees are complying with various aspects of transformation of the company.

Managing the complexity of transformation in an organisation with diversified business lines across countries can be a big barrier for senior leadership. Since we are naturally averse to change, the organisation faces a lot of hardship to adapt to changing external conditions. But with the appropriate intervention of the HR, the organisation can be brought together to enable a transformation process that is driven by productivity.

See key steps of such strategies here.

The Future of the Workplace is More Human Than you Think

Advances in artificial intelligence and connected technologies are improving productivity and efficiency – and unlocking huge potential for employees and businesses across the globe. And as these advances continue to redefine how we work, workplaces are moving swiftly towards using space more resourcefully and fostering a culture of openness and mobility.

JLL’s recently published study “Workplace, powered by Human Experience” (which analyses responses from more than 7,300 respondents in 12 countries) reveals that employee engagement, empowerment and fulfilment are more critical than ever before.

Progressive companies are recognising that employee wellbeing and experience are a fundamental priority in the workplace. This in turn presents an opportunity for property occupiers and investors to outperform.

So why the seemingly sudden focus on the human experience, after decades in which it was a secondary issue?  Go to the CBI’s magazine, Business Voice.

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