Emenex Weekly News

Each week we bring you news, opinions and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Motivation, along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.

The One Sentence Employee Engagement Course: 20 Words To Gain Emotional Commitment

Engagement in one sentance?

Is it truly possible to condense the science of employee engagement into a single sentence, asks Kevin Kruse writing for forbes?  It is, he claims, and he’s about to convince you of that in a thoughtful and contemporary piece here.

This ‘extreme exercise in reductionism’ isn’t supposed to be all encompassing; it’s supposed to simplify a topic that has become way too complex. It’s supposed to be memorable and actionable. It’s an attempt to help leaders master the most basic principles of engagement, allowing other behaviours to be layered on at a later time [After all, leadership behaviours at every level are key – Ed].

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

EDS Emenex

Blog: How Ownership Changes Behaviour

Last week I put my car in for a service and was given a hire car for the day.  I haven’t got the most luxurious car in the world but the car I was given was definitely not a like for like exchange. Since you’re asking, I own an old Volvo C70 and what I was given as a replacement was a new Ford Fiesta.  resize300xgbr00cyydseries8w1I had assumed, as I was using a Volvo main dealer I would be given another Volvo, so I was a little surprised at the car I was directed towards.  I hope this doesn’t sound snobbish – there’s a point in giving you this background.

For the rest of the day I treated my loan Fiesta very badly. I drove it in a way I’d never do with my own car.  I redlined it, crunched the gears and generally behaved like a boy racer. In fact I feel a little embarrassed telling you about it.

Reflecting on it now reminds me of the importance of ownership.  Read more.

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

Motivating Millennials Takes More than Flexible Work Policies

A 2015 Gallup Poll found that Millennials are the least engaged cohort in the workplace, with only 28.9% saying that they are engaged at work. This, combined with high turnover rates and greater freelance and entrepreneurial opportunities, means that if companies want to retain these valued workers, they will have to double their efforts to meet Millennials where they are.

A 2015 report on Millennials emphasized flex-time as one way to do, but although these flexibility strategies are critical to attracting Millennials, businesses will have to go further to keep these workers truly engaged. The authors identified five ways executives can adapt management and communication styles to engage Millennials and improve productivity and outcomes across the board.  The full description here, but briefly:

Create a deeply compelling vision of what the company or team is contributing to society. Multiple studies have revealed that Millennials are keen to see their work as addressing larger societal concerns. Leaders will benefit from creating opportunities for employees to participate in personally meaningful initiatives.

Train managers and supervisors to communicate openly, effectively, and†frequently. The number one reason this cohort leaves a job is directly related to a boss. Millennials want communication from the boss more frequently than any other generation in the workforce.

Embrace technology and make collaboration a way of doing business.  Millennials expect the technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace.  This means they expect to use social networking, instant messaging, video-on-demand, blogs, and wikis in the workplace.

Build an entrepreneurial environment that encourages employees to research and develop their ideas. Millennials are strongly drawn to the ‘anything is possible’ spirit of entrepreneurship. Companies that embrace a risk-tolerant culture and promote learning and experimentation will benefit from the heightened energy around innovation.

Loosen up the notion of the career ladder.  Shifts in organizational design – including fewer management layers, matrix structures, shared services, and outsourcing – have reduced opportunities for steady promotion as a key aspect of career development. Businesses need to promote assignments that create continuous learning for employees by allowing them to solve important problems for the company.

The savviest businesses are not waiting for some tipping point to react. They are adjusting their approach to managing and communicating with employees now. And this will determine how successful they will be in retaining these future leaders.  [With four generations in today’s savvy workforce our evidence shows that these behaviours help engage all staff – Ed]

Employee Engagement is a Top Priority for Executives – But What About Employees?

Employers worldwide identified employee engagement as their No. 1 challenge and concern in Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends survey. However, while employee engagement is generally seen as management’s problem, self-aware employees who find themselves disengaging can take action to re-engage with their work, suggests this article from Post-Bulletin. I like the ideas suggested below, particularly because they’re focused on employees taking responsibility for their own engagement – something we’re passionate about at Emenex! Engagement is definitely not something you can do to people! There are plenty more things an employee can do – but here’s a good start:

  • Realign your skills and responsibilities to ensure your contribution is properly used.
  • Seek out learning and development opportunities. [And, I would add, ensure you’re seeking opportunities that enable you to learn ‘on the job’. Ed]
  • Make work meaningful, for example by identifying opportunities to coach or mentor others.
  • Keep a record of your achievements, for your own benefit – you can use this to encourage yourself that you’re doing a good job and making a positive impression.
  • Foster a culture of gratitude – show your appreciation for your colleagues. [People often complain that their managers don’t show appreciation, so make up for it yourself. Ed.]
  • Create an environment where you want to work – make sure your work area is organised and equipped with what you need to do your job properly.
  • Look at the big picture – be clear about why you’re doing what you do and how it aligns with the organisation’s vision.

Workplace Health Moves up Employers’ Agenda

When Shaun Davis moved to Royal Mail from the construction industry four years ago, he noticed a similarity between the two. As with building work, the manual nature of most postal jobs meant managers concentrated on preventing accidents and dealing with physical ailments — the emphasis was on safety rather than workplace health.

“There was a real conscious push around safety, but health and wellness was a late bloomer,” he says. More lately, he adds, on his experience at Royal Mail, “we’ve really focused on health and wellbeing. It helps not only improve attendance at work but also employee engagement. With 142,000 staff, we have a real chance to educate and inform the broader population.”

As Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, reminds us: “When Britain was a manufacturing economy, musculoskeletal problems like back pain were the biggest issue. Now it’s a service- and knowledge-based economy, mental health is the leading cause of sickness.”

See The Financial Times for the full article including additional evidence from other UK organisations.

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