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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: New Apprenticeship Funding Rules: a Boost for Small Business

Last month (May 2017) the new rules for apprenticeship funding came into force. The ILM reported on the changes here, from where you can get links to all the details.

The new rules provide a great opportunity – and financial support – for organisations committed to investing in all of their employees, not just the senior managers and others identified as having high potential – a philosophy close to our hearts at Emenex. It’s great news for smaller employers who want to make the most of apprenticeships but are concerned about making up costs from their often limited training budgets.

We know that providing effective career development opportunities is a key factor in employee engagement. As an ILM centre, we are passionate about developing people at every level in an organisation, and this new structure offers a real incentive, especially for SMEs, to invest in apprenticeships of all types, as Government funding of 90% is now available to organisations with wage bill below below £3m. (There are also new rules that apply to organisations with wage bills higher than that threshold). The new rules aren’t limited just to young apprentices; there will be more funding available for the Level 3 Management Trailblazer – up to £5,000 from £4,500; and those employers who want to deliver leadership and management apprenticeships to staff who are highly qualified in their technical role (including graduates) will get funding to do so.

We are actively encouraging organisations to capitalise on the opportunities these new arrangements offer, with a view to seeing all employees learn, grow and become even more productive.

To start an informal discussion about how the new funding arrangements could benefit your organisation, please email me at: steve.short@emenex.co.uk.

Steve Short – Emenex


Blog: Building Authenticity into Your Leadership Pipeline

I recently met with a friend who recommended a HBR article on developing talent entitled “The Talent Curse,” (Petriglieri and Petriglieri, May-June 2017).  I read the article with interest as it highlights the curse that so often comes for those that are selected for a leadership fast track programme in that it can have the detrimental effects of either slowing down their actual development or pushing them out the door as a result of burn-out.

At Emenex we have long discussed and held the view, as a result of our experience in working with and observing these ‘high potentials,’ that organisations that hand-pick a few individuals to participate on their ‘elite’ development programmes have a detrimental effect on the performance of their organisation as a whole.   Rather than inspiring the workforce, they end up polarising employees between those that are ‘pre-destined’ for future leadership and those that are ‘condemned to mediocrity’ within the ranks of middle management. Read more.

Alistair Aitchison – Emenex


How Managers Drive Results and Employee Engagement at the Same Time

Is it possible to be a high-standards, results-driven leader while at the same time building an engaged, fun-to-work-with team, asks Jack Zenger and Jospeh Folkman for Harvard Business Review?

Many people would contend that doing either of these things well makes it almost impossible to succeed at the other. And yet their examination of 360-degree assessment data from more than 60,000 leaders showed us that leaders who were rated in the top quartile of both skills ranked in the 91st percentile of all leaders. It seems that not only is it possible to do both things well, but the best leaders are the very ones who manage to do both.

But there aren’t very many of them – and the best are mostly the youngest.  In this detailed article they expand upon the behaviours that characterise these successful leaders.


Karen Notaro: The Importance of Being Honest

Employee engagement is not just about sending an annual survey to your staff. Here Karen Notaro, writing for HR Review, discusses why it is vitally important to expand your horizons when it comes to engagement at work.

“Honesty is the best policy” This is definitely true in most circumstances. Especially when it comes to talking to staff about Employee Engagement. And in order to have an inclusive and engaged workforce, it is important that your people understand what the organisations objectives are, from the very highest strategic level down to the local business plan. By seeing the bigger picture they will be able to understand where they fit into it.

Having a way to obtain an individual’s views and listening to them are all vitally important, whilst remembering that any sort of corporate speak will be seen straight through if it is not said with integrity.

But if an annual survey is your prime method for capturing employee input see Karen’s comprehensive planning and design guidance here.


Show Them the Money

Show me the money. Monetize this. Turn it into dollars. 

Executives often use these expressions when presented with data where the value is unclear. Converting data to money is one way executives can understand problems and opportunities more clearly. If it’s a problem, such as excessive customer complaints, the annual cost of complaints will get their attention. If it’s an opportunity, such as an investment in job engagement, team building or improved communications, the monetary value will help make the investment decision. This is not a new concept.

Show the value of employee engagement is a common and more contemporary request. To understand the value, engagement could link to other measures or impacts that can be converted to money easily. The key is to link the “hard to value” measure, like engagement, to a measure that is easy to value, like retention.

Read this ROI advice in the Chief Learning Officer.


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Emenex helps organisations get the best from and for their people.

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