Each week we bring you news, opinions and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Motivation, along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.
Regular readers of this Weekly News will see no Infographic item this week. We shall continue to include research data in this way, but on a monthly basis for the time being.
CIPD Tackles Professional Ethics
The professional institute for HR professionals has compiled a wide ranging report into ethical behaviour in the profession. HR often finds itself torn between the individual and the organisation’s needs, and over a quarter of HR professionals feel compelled to compromise on principles due to pressure from business leaders. This is an interesting debate: what principles and values exist in an organisation and how do they play out in day to day decision making, especially with people related issues. Who is the custodian of the values in your organisation?
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
As this year comes to a close, I reflect on my year and the things that have happened. I would just like to express my gratitude; I am so incredibly blessed to do what I do. Read more.
Take Charge of your career, team or organisation by aligning individual goals with organisational priorities. To learn more, call 03450 523 593
Research that Proves that Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive
There is a large and growing body of research on Positive Organisational Psychology that a positive work environment leads to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and their organisations.
Research estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, while it is reported that 60% to 80% of workplace accidents and more than 80% of doctors’ visits are due to workplace stress-related health problems, ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a large-scale study of over 3,000 employees, results showed a strong link between leadership behaviour and heart disease. Stress-producing bosses are literally bad for the heart!
Studies show that disengaged workers have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects, while their organisations experience 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time; while businesses with highly engaged employees enjoyed 100% more job applications. Research also shows that workplace stress leads to an increase of almost 50% in voluntary employee turnover.
Research meanwhile suggests six essential characteristics for employees looking to reduce stress and help create a more positive workplace environment:
- Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
- Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.
- Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.
- Inspiring one another at work.
- Emphasising the meaningfulness of the work.
- Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust, and integrity.
So, as a boss, how can you foster these principles? The research points to four steps to try:
- Foster social connections. A large number of empirical studies confirm that positive social connections at work produce highly desirable results. The probability of dying early is 20% higher for obese people, 30% higher for excessive drinkers, 50% higher for smokers, but a whopping 70% higher for people with poor social relationships!
- Show empathy. As a boss, you have a huge impact on how your employees feel. A telling brain-imaging study found that, when employees recalled a boss that had been unkind or lacked empathy, they showed increased activation in areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negative emotion, while the opposite was true when they recalled an empathetic boss.
- Go out of your way to help. Research shows that when leaders are not just fair, but self-sacrificing, their employees are actually moved and inspired to become more loyal and committed themselves. As a consequence, they are more likely to go out of their way to be helpful and friendly to other employees, thus creating a self-reinforcing cycle.
- Encourage people to talk to you – especially about their problems. Trusting that the leader has your best interests at heart improves employee performance while research on safe cultures in which leaders are inclusive, humble, and encourage their staff to speak up or ask for help, leads to better learning and performance outcomes
In summary, a Positive Workplace is more successful over time because it increases positive emotions and well-being, improves people’s relationships with each other and amplifies their abilities and their creativity. It buffers employees against stress and attracts employees. When organizations develop positive, virtuous cultures they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee engagement. To read more click here.
What Amazing Bosses Do Differently
Research into the world’s most successful bosses has unearthed some common practices that make work much more meaningful and enjoyable:
- Manage individuals, not teams. When you’re under pressure, it’s easy to forget that employees are unique individuals, with varying interests, abilities, goals, and styles of learning therefore it’s important to customize your interactions with each one individually. Make sure that you understand what motivates them, be available and accessible for one-on-one conversations, deliver lessons cued to individual developmental needs, and when it comes to promotion, look past rigid competency models and career ladders for growth opportunities tailored to the ambitions, talents, and capacities of each person.
- Go big on meaning. Most employees value jobs that let them contribute and make a difference, and many organizations now emphasize meaning and purpose in the hope of fostering engagement. Managers need to inspire their employees by sharing a vision, setting challenging goals and pumping up their confidence so they believe they can actually win.
- Focus on feedback. A recent survey of managers in the U.S. found that “only 2% provide ongoing feedback to their employees.” Just 2%! Many bosses limit themselves to the dreaded “performance review” and often mingle developmental feedback with discussions about compensation and promotion, rendering the former much less effective.
- Don’t just talk… listen. Employees tend to be happiest when they feel free to contribute new ideas and take the initiative. The best leaders spend a great deal of time listening. They pose problems and challenges, then ask questions to enlist the entire team in generating solutions. They reward innovation and initiative, and encourage everyone in the group to do the same.
- Be consistent. Be consistent in your management style, vision, expectations, feedback and openness to new ideas. If change becomes necessary, acknowledge it openly and quickly.
No behaviours that managers adopt will guarantee happy employees, but managers who follow these five key practices will find that they will help improve well-being, engagement, and productivity on any team. The common denominator is attentiveness. Pay close attention to your employees as individuals. Take that extra bit of time to build their confidence and articulate a vision; to provide constant, ongoing, high quality feedback; and to listen to their ideas. And ensure that your own messages are consistent. To read more click here
Two Out of Three Expect to Work Past 65, New Research Claims
We’ve reported in the last few weeks on new research into what generation Z – the young people currently still at school but soon to join the workforce – want from their careers. This generation is certainly raising questions for employers, who will need to think differently about how best to keep them engaged.
At the other end of the age continuum, the same questions will surely arise: what will employers need to do to keep an ageing workforce engaged and productive?
Robert Leeming, writing in HR Review, reports on new research from Portus, the employment benefits consultancy firm, showing that 66 percent of the British working population expects to work beyond 65, while just over one in ten anticipate they will be working beyond 76, or will never retire. Leeming offers various reasons for this – for some it’s financial, but for others it’s because they love what they do.
The key question is: What do organisations need to do differently to respond to an ageing workforce? What is your organisation doing to ensure older employees continue to make a valued contribution to your organisation? We’d love to hear your experiences and ideas.
How to Engage Millennials with Your Company Culture
If you have Millennials working for your company, you already know how unique they are when it comes to how they interact in the workplace. As Baby Boomers continue to retire in large numbers every year, Millennials are steadily becoming a greater part of the workforce and you’ll want to be prepared to engage them in ways that are more meaningful to them.
According to Forbes, “91% of Millennials don’t anticipate staying at a job for more than three years.” This statistic has been confirmed by CareerBuilder which states by the time Millennials reach 35, a quarter of them would have held five or more jobs.
Here are a few tips for engaging Millennials in your company culture so they remain with you for longer.
We help you keep your people great.
Emenex helps organisations get the best from and for their people. Organisations approach us when they have challenges with engagement, motivation, productivity, retention, talent management, management development 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.
Emenex has a great track record in supporting organisations with consulting expertise, tools, resources and skills needed to deliver the required results. The continued growth and development of both teams and individuals builds loyalty, commitment and engagement. An organisation that has aligned its values, priorities, structures and resources is better able to meet future challenges leading to higher performance and customer satisfaction.
The result? Individuals and their organisation excel.