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: The Link Between Employee Voice and Improved Business Outcomes

On 23rd November 2016 45 people from a wide range of public and private sector organisations gathered at IBM Southbank, London to explore the link between Employee Voice and improved business outcomes. Developed as a result of collaboration between Engage for Success and Emenex, the event was facilitated by David Evans of Emenex, and comprised three main speakers:

  • Jo Geraghty, Development Director at Engage For Success set the scene, showing how the research and the Four Enablers of Engagement (which are Strategic Narrative, Engaging Managers, Employee Voice and Integrity) make a compelling and overwhelming business case for taking this topic very seriously.
  • Patrick Gilbert from IBM Smarter Workforce dived into the science, research and technology behind IBM’s powerful Employee Voice platform, showing how key issues can be addressed using ‘Big Data’ and thorough analysis to turn data into action. Entertaining and insightful, his talk really made the link between Employee Voice and business performance very clear, backed up with rigorous research.
  • Penny Wells, Performance and Engagement manager at Anglian Water Services (who use IBM survey and analytics tools) shared a compelling and very honest story of the journey that Anglian Water have been on (and are still on) to get to the point where they now have an effective on-going conversation with their employees; engagement is high and staff turnover very low, but Penny admits there is more to be done.

Following each of the talks there was time for questions, and in discussion at the end of the session Emenex facilitated discussion around four questions:

  1. What is your vision for employee voice in your organisation?
  2. How will this impact your business?
  3. What barriers might you encounter?
  4. What actions will you take in 2017?

Participants really engaged with this and raised great questions about the application of engagement strategies in the public sector, especially, where metrics are often different than in private sector organisations, as well as questions around the use of technology versus simple, non-technological approaches.

Some key points came through during the event:

  • All employee engagement work must start with a coherent, robust strategy;
  • IBM identifies three key stages: Listen – Analyse – Act; as Patrick emphasised several times, if you’re not going to task action, it’s best not to do a survey at all;
  • The relationship between every employee and his/her line manager is vital in really hearing Employee Voice;
  • There are simple, non-technology based actions that every manager could be doing every day to raise engagement through Employee Voice, with their own team members. It’s worth the investment of time to (which we realise can be difficult) to get engagement activity into the DNA of every line manager;

Often, the challenges in raising engagement can seem to be overwhelming, but the clear message from the people attending this event is that it’s definitely worth the effort.

At Emenex, as you might expect, we concur!

Do get in touch with us if you’d like to hear more, and if you would like to be kept informed about the next event being planned for early 2017.

It’s time to move beyond engagement.  Empower and align employees with organisational priorities to build a culture of high performance, well being and career satisfaction.  To learn more, call 03450 523 593

New Report Highlights Importance Of Engaging Middle Managers To Fuel Business Growth

British business performance is being undermined from within by widespread mistrust of senior managers, according to research from leadership events specialists, Top Banana and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The new report, “The Middle Manager Lifeline” shows that there is a clear issue with the communication styles of our business leaders and urges them to commit to open and honest relationships with middle managers to fuel business growth.

Nick Terry, managing director of Top Banana, says: “This report clearly demonstrates that if you want a high performing company, you need to engage and inspire your middle managers. Yet, with less than half of managers feeling that their leaders make communication with them a priority, there’s a lot of work to be done.

Read the article for a full summary of the findings.

Take Charge of your career, team or organisation by aligning individual goals with organisational priorities. To learn more, call 03450 523 593

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