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.

UK Mental Health Infographic

Mental Health in the UK

The 4th November is National Stress Awareness Day and to celebrate it and build on a news item in last week’s newsletter, we’re taking a deeper look at the state of well-being in the UK.  What we’re seeing from the data isn’t making us think that UK employees are “in the pink”, so to speak.

In  the last 6 years, absenteeism due to mental health disorders has increased by 26% and anxiety and depression is now the most common mental disorder.  Modern day working life, and life in general, is increasingly stressful. It is widely accepted that stress leads to lower productivity and quality.   ‘Presenteeism’ is a word not previously found in dictionaries, but people turning up for work and not really wanting to be there is now a common issue.

Employee engagement is one way of addressing presenteeism; giving purpose and meaning to work, along with development opportunities and recognition, really helps to give employees a sense of belonging and self-esteem.  However, ignoring well-being will weaken or even eliminate any benefits employee engagement can bring.

Managers have a key role to play here. They cannot be expected to competently deal with a serious mental health disorder, but they can help create a workplace environment where well-being is regularly discussed and incorporated into their responsibilities.

Here are some actions (some more challenging than others) that can help make well-being, engagement and performance part of daily working life:

  • Recognise well-being is a workplace operational responsibility, not HR or medical
  • Raise awareness about well-being – e.g. posters where they can be easily seen (ever been to the toilets in a motorway service station?)
  • Create opportunities for employees to raise well-being issues
  • Incorporate well-being into induction process
  • Make well-being activities part of the rewards and benefits package
  • Develop emotionally intelligent managers; soft skills training is a good start.
  • Shift conversations from formal performance management to informal contribution development – do you really need A ratings in your appraisals, what do they achieve?
  • Begin regular discussions about career development
  • Recognise individual contributions as they happen

What do you do in your organisations to support the well-being agenda?

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: Portrait of a Leader

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREAfter watching a programme about how an artist captures the personality and essence of their subject, Jonathan Broadhurst ponders on how leaders portray themselves.  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.

Most employee engagement initiatives failing

Jack Craver of benefitspro.com reports that a poll of 300 companies, conducted by theEMPLOYEEapp, found that while 71 percent of employers have implemented engagement programs, only 37 percent of those that have such programs believe their workers are actually engaged.

Jeff Corbin, founder and CEO of theEMPLOYEEapp, said “As the workforce population continues to skew younger, employers are now being forced to think outside of the box and reimagine how employee engagement can be accomplished. Based on the results of our survey, there is a lot of room for improvement.”

Craver reports that the most popular ‘engagement tools’ are training courses, open door policies, and reimbursements for membership in industry groups. Yet many companies apparently said that they weren’t communicating in a way that reaches digitally-dependent millennials in the workplace; Only 16% said that they’re making regular use of mobile apps.

So what’s going wrong? And what are those companies missing? At emenex, we fundamentally believe that both employee and employer have a key role to play in engagement; getting alignment between the two is critical, and that won’t be achieved just by communicating effectively (although that’s important!). The whole approach leaders take when managing their people needs to be addressed if they are to buck this trend and gain the benefits as a result. For sure, communicating via mobile apps is a useful tool – but our tip is not to rely on that alone; whatever benefits technology provides, direct human interaction is still important!

Rebellious millennials can’t stand performance reviews

Robert Leeming reports new research from TriNet that found that ‘traditional’ performance reviews negatively impact productivity, morale and talent retention. Companies such as Accenture, Adobe and Gap, amongst others, have already acted to eliminate the traditional review, he says.

Here are some headlines:
62 percent of millennials felt ‘blindsided’ by a performance review
74 percent of those surveyed felt ‘in the dark’ about how they’re performing at work
69 percent of millennials said that they viewed their company’s review process as flawed
85 percent of millennial employees concluded that they would feel more confident in their current position “if they could have more frequent performance conversations with their manager.”

This all chimes with our experience at emenex, where coaching for a ‘development discussion’ with the line manager is a key element of our workshops. Why? Because only when performance and development are considered an ongoing activity will people really be given the opportunity to flourish.

What’s your organisation doing to really capitalise on every employee’s potential?

Strive for Excellence, not Perfection

Perfection is impossible except in scientific laboratory experiments and mathematical applications.

Excellence differentiates extraordinary people from ordinary people. Those who strive for excellence will have longevity in their endeavours. It is both the yardstick and the benchmark. When you benchmark against other achievers, you tend to improve and grow.

People are not born with excellence. They cultivate it over a period of time through hard work, wise work, and smart work. It emerges from continuous improvement over the past. It is a corollary of passion and performance.

How to Achieve Excellence?

People first must develop the mindset that achieving excellence is a journey, not a destination. It’s not an act, but a habit.

This comprehensive article by Professor M.S.Rao explores the cons of perfection and the pros of excellence, and provides some appropriate nuggets of wisdom as guidance, Starting with being passionate and knowing one’s talents. And much more.

 About Emenex

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.

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