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: Dealing With Change in a VUCA World

The environment in which we live and work is said to be VUCA, marked by characteristics of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. The term isn’t actually a new one. It was first coined in the late 1980s to describe the post cold war world and has since been adopted by the corporate world. Perhaps that’s not surprising as you don’t need to travel far to experience it. Just consider Brexit, global political turmoil, complex trade negotiations, difficult trading conditions and of course, the Trump phenomenon…

None of our professional lives is immune from the VUCA effect. It has even been suggested that you can’t prepare for the VUCA world – that its volatility is so potent you just have to roll with it as best you can, reacting to what comes along and doing your best.

I disagree.

Let’s consider just one example where effective leadership makes a huge difference: change. With an estimated 70% of change initiatives reported to have failed, careful leadership through change is more vital than ever (and it has always been important).

Research conducted by Prosci shows that most failed change initiatives fail because of lack of adoption – people not being able or willing to adopt the new behaviours and approaches necessary to enable the change to happen. The good news is this can be overcome and the ADKAR model provides a robust framework for leading organisations through the change adoption process, maximising the likelihood of successful implementation.

Effective leadership through the change process (and in other areas too) is the primary differentiator between success and failure. Don’t let yourself be sucked into the irresponsible view that you are at the mercy of your environment.

Steve Short – Emenex

Does the Employee Experience Trend Replace Engagement?

According to Gallup, if you’re an organisational leader or if you work in HR, you may have noticed something recently — or even over the past few years now: your organisation can’t fake its employment brand anymore.

Workplace experiences quickly get shared online, as well as throughout your company. So your brand gets created based on what your company culture actually is.

This makes the stakes (good and bad) for companies higher than ever when it comes to reputation, hiring talented people, customer engagement and the bottom line. That’s why the employee experience trend emerged and why it has become a strategic priority for leaders today.

HR leaders are right to focus on the employee experience.

But for companies that have spent the past decade focusing on employee engagement methods, what does this new focus mean? Is employee engagement being replaced by employee experience? Are they the same?

What is the Employee Experience?  Gallup’s answer here.

Leap of Faith: The Evolution of Employee Engagement at Reach Newspaper Group

The organisation now known as Reach plc, 2018 has been a year of transformation, inside and out. In the first half, the Trinity Mirror newspaper group acquired several major UK news publishing titles (including the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers) and rebranded as Reach. At the same time, the organisation adopted a fundamentally different approach to monitoring employee engagement, increasing the frequency of their engagement survey from annual to monthly.

This change has driven new life into employee engagement at Reach, shaking things up for the better and challenging the organisation to radically renew its relationship with engagement. This journey has not always been an entirely comfortable one, and is far from over, but healthy progress has been made and many important lessons learned.

This revolution is the vision of Julia Warren, Group HR Director, who joined Trinity Mirror in November 2016. Julia is developing and implementing the people strategy for Reach, as well as the delivery of HR operations.  In an in depth interview for Engage for Success, Julia shares experiences and insights from leading employees, managers, senior leadership and the Board in a leap of faith into a more engaging future.

Employee Engagement Biggest Challenge in 2019

In an annual study, employee engagement has topped the list for the second year running, with 40 percent of the 423 respondents believing it will be their biggest challenge over the next 12 months. Recruitment and retention were a close second and third (37 percent and 36 percent respectively), followed by absence management (29 percent) and wellbeing (22 percent).

It appears similar themes have posed the biggest headaches as 2018 has unfolded too. When asked to reflect on their toughest encounters from the last year, HR directors, managers and executives ranked recruitment as the clear front runner (45 percent), followed by absence management (36 percent), with retention and GDPR compliance in joint third place (35 percent).

Seemingly, there have, however, been reasons to celebrate.  The full story from The HR Director.

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