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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: True or False? Global Productivity Hinges on Human Capital Development

Steve Crabtree of Gallup suggests, “As more of the world moves toward knowledge-based economies in which companies automate many routinized (sic) jobs, competitive advantage increasingly depends on the effectiveness with which businesses develop and deploy their human capital — that is, their employees’ knowledge, skills and talents.”

It’s well known that globally, only 15% of workers are actively engaged in their work – meaning a staggering 85% of people are operating at well below optimum levels. Many words are written and much energy applied to the solution to this – how could we get more people to be more engaged? After all, the commercial value of doing so is well known.

So is Crabtree right? In part, yes, but it is by no means the whole picture. We agree that human capital (that’s people, by the way!) development is vitally important as a factor in engagement, but we also need a much sharper focus on outcomes of that development; to what end is this development being made? What commercial benefit will it bring? How will it directly (and positively) affect our productivity and our bottom line? We must never forget that engagement is not just about feelings of satisfaction, wellbeing and workplace happiness, important though those are.

If some of the 85% of disengaged workers are going to be more valuable to their employers, then a significant change is going to be required – a change in the personal behaviour choices of those employees. They will need not only to understand the need for that change, but also to develop a personal desire to make that change along with being given the tools to do things differently.

And throughout it all, senior leaders (and line managers at all levels) must reinforce that need for change; not only by what they say but also by the example they set.

Steve Short – Emenex


Let’s Change Our Perception Of Employee Engagement

Of the many skills today’s business leaders must possess, perhaps the most vital is the ability to “read the signs” — to adapt to changes, the future and threats that may affect their business, claims Cha Tekeli writing for Forbes Coaches Council.

Often, these efforts focus on external factors, such as the rapid pace of technology and cybersecurity. Important issues, of course, but what about the “gorilla in the room?”

Today’s leaders are drowning in data, information and technology, all to the end of solving problems in their business. They believe that’s what leadership is. Yet, like the example above, they’re failing to recognize what’s right in front of them: In this case, their employees. Employees who care about their work and understand their role in the success of your enterprise are not just a great asset, they are a critical one. In fact, your business depends on them.

As a leader, the most important action you can take is to recognize that employee engagement is as critical as other fundamental issues facing your business. Consider your perception of what’s happening with your employees at this very moment — and the possibility that you’re failing to recognize the telltale signs that are right in front of you.

Opinion | People Change, Not the Organisation | Lenore Miller

There are two big mistakes leaders are making as they ready their organisations to adapt to an increasingly fast paced and ever changing business environment.

They forget that it’s really people who change, not the organisation. Secondly, they think of change management as a one-off event rather than an ongoing and evolving process.

Changes can appear organisational but the reality is that change only occurs successfully when the people within the organisation change. If they’re resistant to change or unaware of what’s happening and why then it’s unlikely the new initiative will succeed. Yet, many organisations press ahead with the technical steps without engaging those who will ensure its success – their workforce. They also leap into the training phase before ensuring their workforce is primed to embrace the training.

So, before building the internal skills capability for any change, ask these questions from Miller for a more successful start.


Employee Engagement And Employee Productivity Aren’t The Same Thing — Here’s How to Boost Both

Employee productivity or employee engagement, asks Elizabeth Dukes? That is the question for businesses that want to ensure that they’re making the most out of the employees that they have. But for far too many organizations, the quest for both becomes blurred to the point that they aren’t sure where to focus their efforts. Employee productivity and employee engagement aren’t the same thing, and it’s important to recognize the distinction so organizations can enact a plan to ensure their employees are getting the best of both worlds and, in return, so are they.

By example, Dukes defines both terms and presents ideas for strengthening engagement and productivity.


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