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.
The Role of Senior Management in Employee Engagement
Following on on from last week’s featured research, we have looked deeper and highlighted the role senior managers play in the engagement equation. Direct line managers have a crucial role in engagement, but so do senior managers. It is important for the board to get back to the floor and to be seen taking an interest in day to day workplace issues. Similarly developing 2-way feedback channels provide opportunities for employees to connect and feel involved. Combine this with clear vision and goals, to build the trust and confidence that employees turn into engagement and commitment. Put another way, senior managers are the cultural architects who create the conditions in which employee engagement can flourish.
The three skills that outstanding senior leaders share plays to two of the four enablers identified by Engage for Success. Connection and Listen both relate to Employee Voice and Vision, and Goals is part of building a Strategic Narrative, essential components of employee engagement.
To develop these skills and put these ideas into practice, the research identifies some strategies that are straightforward to implement:
- Use employee engagement data to identify employee concerns and address them;
- Create informal opportunities for employees to share thoughts and ideas with senior managers;
- Get back to the floor become an undercover boss and spend a day in the life of one of your employees.
- Get employee ideas and solutions on organisation-wide issues;
- Use social media to get feedback.
- Involve everyone in developing organisational goals – even the cleaner can help put a man on the moon.
- Communicate regularly on progress – Listen and Connect to get employees onboard and engaged with results.
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 08450 523 593.
Talent Development, Why England Rugby Got Kicked Into Touch
This week’s Blog is by Jonathan Broadhurst who highlights the importance of talent management as a business imperative. The examples from elite sport makes it clear that a massive budget does not guarantee success and that the foundation stones lie elsewhere. 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.
Perks of the job?
With increasing competition and a shortage of talent, organisations are finding new and unusual ways to attract and retain their staff, says Rachel Pinto, a Senior Research Officer at Acas. But what does this mean for productivity?
A happy worker is a more productive one, suggests Pinto, as employees are encouraged and rewarded for working hard. But do long hours translate into productivity gains?
Recent figures from the ONS suggest that UK productivity based on output per hour is rising but the UK still has a long way to go. Figures from the OECD, looking at average annual working hours in 2014, show that countries that worked the most hours were least productive. You can see the details and data here. Sweden are trialling changing to a 6-hour working day in an attempt to improve productivity – working longer hours may not always be linked to increased productivity.
Pinto concludes: “Employee incentives can help make employees feel valued, but creating the right conditions is also about well designed work, skilled managers and clarity around rights and responsibilities.”
Seems Kind of Obvious: Align Your Employees!
If engagement in your organisation needs a boost, there is a better solution than installing latte machines or allowing employees to bring their dogs to work: align them to what is most important to your organization.
Getting all employees aligned to your strategy, mission, and values is something you should do even if you don’t give a hoot about engagement. It is a requirement for high performance. Conversly, lack of alignment is the silent killer of engagement.
Blessing White has just published this excerpt from The Engagement Equation: Leadership Strategies for an Inspired Workforce, which points to the common reasons (with some remedies too) for disconnected or misaligned employees.
Are You a Candid Leader?
4 Ways to Build Clarity, Trust, and Competitive Advantage – Oct 1
Honest, purposeful, and respectful communication is one of the most effective leadership skills, yet CEOs who promote a culture of candor are still uncommon in business today. With an increased demand for transparency, building trust through authenticity is more critical than ever for individuals and organizations to keep their competitive edge.
Nancy Eberhardt presents four techniques that will help open the lines of communication with team members, and across your organization, to encourage valuable idea generation and information sharing:
- Avoid the Feedback Sandwich – When giving a performance evaluation where development is needed, do you typically start with what your employee does well, followed by areas for improvement, and wrap up with what you like about their work? At best, this approach can be confusing, leaving your employee focused only on the positives and missing the areas to be developed altogether. For the best results, it’s always best to provide honest feedback with clear direction on expectations. Keep in mind, direct feedback should be respectful, without ridicule, demeaning, or humiliation.
- Listen More – No Need to Get Defensive – As a leader, do you get defensive when someone disagrees with you, or are you open to other ideas and approaches? When communicating, listening is just as important as speaking, perhaps even more so. Information is king and by listening, you have the opportunity to gain valuable perspectives about what’s working and what’s not. It helps to have all of the facts to make the best decision possible.
- Don’t Be a People Pleaser – We all want to be liked, but as the boss, we know that’s not always possible. Our job is to be respectful, yet also direct, clear, and purposeful. When you are honest with someone, you honour them. The key is to give honest feedback – both positive and negative – in a respectful manner. How it’s received is up to the recipient. Realize that we won’t please everyone all of the time, but being relied upon to be truthful with the company’s and your team’s best interest in mind will help to build trust and gain their respect.
- Be Honest with Yourself – As a leader, we spend the majority of our time developing strategy and managing others. However, looking inward is just as important. Do you regularly consider your own performance? What can you do to be more effective? Do you ask for feedback on how to improve? Is everyone on board with a clear vision and specific objectives? By acknowledging your areas for growth, you encourage others to do the same.
To be an authentic leader, you must create a culture of candor—communicating with honesty, clarity, purpose, and respect—to heighten credibility, inspire, and engage.
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.