Each week we bring you our views on the latest published news and research on the topics of Employee Engagement, Leadership and Motivation, together with some thoughts on their practical application.
Number of UK businesses hits record levels
It’s great news to see so many new businesses being created in the UK, but as everyone in business knows, it’s one thing to start a business and another to make it grow. In our experience this is especially so in smaller businesses, where rapid growth can mean that demand quickly outstrips resources, leaving employees under pressure and – potentially – disengaged as a result. In one sense it’s a great problem to have, but there are always challenging questions about when to expand, recruit and invest on a wave of growth.
The connection between employees being engaged and their productivity is now well researched, and the data speaks for itself. Of course, there’s a lot more involved in making a business successful, but having engaged employees is one crucial building block in enabling a growing business to capitalise on its growth potential.
So what advice would we at Emenex give to those new companies that have started up recently, regardless of their current size, that they can do straight away to maximise their potential for success?
- Make sure that your company vision and values are well defined, supportive of your objectives and – above all – communicated clearly to every employee.
- Ensure your values are actually lived, all the time, by every employee. When your “values espoused” differ from your “values in action” (as described by Charles Handy) employees quickly learn that the values don’t matter.
- Get your infrastructure right. Every business needs systems and structures that will help it grow. A start-up business has the great advantage of being able to set things up right from the start. Keep it simple and keep it focused on your objectives – ask yourself how the way you are designing the infrastructure helps you achieve your goals; if it doesn’t, do it differently.
- Be consistent in all of the above, so that the culture that develops is the one you want.
- Provide opportunities for your employees to do work that matters both to them and to you, and that utilise and grow their skills. Employees are more engaged when they do work they see as important and developmental.
Every business can do the above if they put their minds to it, and the rewards can be great from these simple actions. Emenex’s extraMILE framework helps organisations to do that in a structured and measurable way. You can find out more here about how one of our clients – a small business beginning to grow rapidly – applied the framework in their situation.
So to all the new businesses: We wish you all the best of success as you grow and expand your businesses.
Do you want your managers to be more engaging in the way they lead and manage their teams? We help by providing them with the tools, skills and support to align the expectations of their employees with their priorities and needs. Please contact us today on 03450 523 593.
Blog: Co-workers in a Disruptive Enterprise
The return of 6-day racing to London’s Olympic Velodrome gets David Evans thinking about what it takes to be a high performing worker and colleague. Read More
See how to empower your employees and develop a culture of high performance. Take a look at the Take Charge workshop and align individual career goals with organisational priorities.
Employee Engagement Is Just as Important as the Customer
Although 90% of leaders think an Employee Engagement strategy impacts the bottom line, a mere 25% have developed one; however, the customer experience starts the minute people come in contact not just with your brand, but also with your employees. The statistics speak for themselves, companies generate twice the amount of revenue when they have engaged employees who are on the same page.
Here are 5 ways that you can more effectively engage your internal customers:
- Give and receive feedback on a regular basis.
Some companies only give employees feedback every 6 months. However, 43% of highly engaged employees get feedback at least once a week, compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement.
- Communicate your goals.
How can your employees help you achieve your aims if they don’t know them?
- Listen to your employees.
Employees are on the front line of customer interaction, so they’ll likely see things you don’t. Your workers are valuable sources of information. Ask for their thoughts and ideas and make sure you hear, discuss and consider what they have to say.
- Celebrate achievements.
Few things will engage employees more than a handwritten note from a leader to commemorate even small or personal achievements. If your employees matter to you, make sure they know it.
- Turn the statistics around.
Studies show that more than 1 in 10 employees are completely disengaged at work. Take the opportunity to use the statistics to your advantage. Take control of the customer-facing side of your business by equipping your managers the tools they need to manage the engagement of all company employees.
Has Your Office Become a Lonely Place?
An academic study into remote working has found an unexpected side effect of this increasingly common flexible working practice. Over 600 employees at a large company where flexible working is well established were interviewed (approx. 6% of the workforce). The study found that flexible working is contagious with some employees not coming in to work simply because they found themselves working in an empty office.
Many organisations promote flexible working as an employee benefit and as a way of maximising productivity. However, for those employees who enjoy the social element of interacting with colleagues flexible working has the opposite effect. In the same way, personal productivity may increase through remote working, but the productivity advantages working together with colleagues easily face-to-face, is lost.
Case Study: Halfords Find the Key To Beating Financial Struggles… in Employees
In June, Halfords reported annual sales topping £1billion for the first time. A big change from 2012, which saw the group experiencing a decline, with revenue, profit margins and shares decreasing in price and value. Employee engagement also stood then at 64%.
So Halfords refocussed their business strategy: they got to work on embedding employee engagement into company culture. Thereafter, employee engagement was measured at 77% in 2013 and 80% in 2014, with an excellent participation rate of 95%.
Read the whole story here, including key actions from the top that helped drive this success.
Shifting from Star Performer to Star Manager – Oct 20th
The late, great scholar David McClelland studied three human needs, or motivators that are profoundly important when it comes to managing people: the need for achievement, the need for power, and the need for affiliation. He points out that these motivators can serve us well in our work and interactions with people. But, if we don’t understand and manage these needs, they can backfire. This article looks at each motivator in turn and asks how they impact managerial performance – a key factor in organisational performance.
We help you make your people great.
Emenex enables organisations to get the best from and for their staff. Leaders approach us when they have challenges associated with motivation, productivity, retention, talent management and succession planning. They know that addressing these critical issues delivers higher levels of profit, productivity and customer satisfaction. They also know that a more progressive solution is required – one that delivers above and beyond expectations and enhances their brand with customers and staff alike. The solution our clients are choosing to implement is the extraMILETM Employee Engagement Programme.
The extraMILETM Employee Engagement Programme delivers all the tools and skills leaders need to clearly define and communicate organisational priorities to employees. For employees, it ensures they are prepared and able to align their personal and career goals to the priorities of the organisation. The continued growth and development of both teams and individuals builds loyalty, commitment and engagement. It builds an organisation better able to meet future challenges and leads to higher performance and customer satisfaction.
The result? Individuals and their organisation excel. Get in touch to find out more.