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.

Is Employee Development the Most Neglected Management Function?

Victor Lipman, writing again for forbes, repeats his view that management is no easy job.  He says a good manager at times has to be a psychologist, a coach, a policeman, an accountant, and a diplomat… among many others.

That said, despite the role’s multiple challenges, there’s ample survey evidence showing that seven out of 10 employees work in various states of disengagement; and that, too often, the job isn’t being done well with important managerial functions routinely ignored and overlooked.

Accordingly, his personal selection for the “Most Neglected Management Function” is, Employee Development.  He expands his reasoning here and adds some key shortfalls as close ‘runners-up.’

Blog: Employee Engagement – Further Evidence

Readers of these pages will know Emenex has followed and admired the work of the employee engagement movement, Engage for unnamedSuccess. In 2012 they published an important paper, Nailing the Evidence, citing employee engagement as a driver of organisational performance.  As their Evidence paper demonstrated, they saw a firm correlation between employee engagement (or lack of) and high organisational productivity and performance, across all sectors of the economy.

In the meantime, Engage for Success have continued their work with industry partners and published a substantial follow up report, titled, Further Evidencefeaturing a series of valuable UK case studies. Two things have not changed since 2012: the state of Engagement in the UK remains low, with only around a third of workers being highly engaged, and productivity continues to lag nearly 20% behind that of other G7 countries.  Go here to read more and a link to the full report.

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

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Let’s Redefine Employee Engagement in 2016

Meghan Biro of US-based TalentCulture points out three key errors organisations make in their efforts to raise employee engagement, and what can be done to bring about change.

Companies focus too much on feelings.
Instead, they need to look at the link between attitude and behaviour, but also need to bear in mind that the two aren’t always related.

Executives often want to be the problem solvers.
Get employees involved – don’t leave it to managers; employees need to have a stake in any changes.

Data isn’t timely.
Managers may make a strong effort to change company culture, but using dated information often yields very little in the way of change.

Biro suggests that “Employee engagement isn’t about grand gestures; it’s about the underlying values.” These can include:

Empowering individuals. Employers who get staff involved in the engagement process empower their employees to have frank conversations with managers, which lets leaders act and enact change more effectively.

Increasing transparency.  Help your teams collaborate by adding technology to bridge gaps—but don’t introduce new tools as solutions on their own; use them as part of a multifaceted strategy.

Prioritising wellness. Individual health, financial security, and mental well-being are among the personal factors that can affect professional engagement, so focus on initiatives that help individuals as well as the business.

Biro concludes: “Use 2016 as a time to review your regular engagement metrics, listen to employees, and see what a focus on engagement can do for you. After all, your human capital is one of your company’s most valuable assets.”

Germany’s Employee Engagement Problem Begins With Managers

  • 84% of German employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged
  • 48% of disengaged workers considered quitting because of their manager
  • Germany needs a different attitude toward managing

German businesses have a problem with their managers, claim Gallup from their recent national survey.  It has shown that a team’s immediate manager is responsible for a large part of his or her team members’ engagement.  Moreover, nearly seven in 10 employees (68%) reported that they had at least one bad manager in their working career.

Yet most managers believe they’re doing their jobs well. In a 2014 survey by the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, 95% of managers said that they are “a good and accepted manager” by their employees. The survey also found that a majority of managers don’t see the need for change.  Seemingly, many managers receive no formal training about employee engagement and how to create and sustain it.  Instead, the traits most valued in German managers are reliability and efficiency, and being straightforward and structured.  Management culture and education scarcely emphasizes managing people.

See Gallup’s full article for their views on how German companies can improve their management and strengthen the engagement of their teams.

Beyond Engagement

Worldwide research by IBM reveals that employee engagement surveys are more common in large organizations: 72 percent of organizations with more than 10,000 employees regularly conduct surveys, compared to only 50 percent of small organizations (those with between 100 and 249 employees). This same research reveals that, over the last 15 years in the United States among organizations with at least 100 employees, employee surveys have increased from 50 to 60 percent (Wiley, 2010).

Follow this link for IBM’s definitive guide to employee surveys (including benchmarking), and their model of engagement linked to organisational performance.

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

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