In London today, business leaders, heads of operations, HR leadership & managers of large teams will gather for a conference focussed upon employee engagement. The industry movement, Engage for Success, is hosting another event, and given the title they’ve adopted they appear to be ramping up their message: Engage or Bust!

Their story began in 2008 when Government asked David MacLeod and Nita Clarke to compile for the first time, ‘the evidence that underpins what we all know intutitivity, which is that only organisations that truly engage and inspire their employees produce world class levels of innovation, productivity and performance.’ Around 150 private and public sector organisations contributed their evidence to these findings.

engage for success infographic_online copyFurther evidence emerged in 2012 with a paper aimed at ‘an audience of chief executives and chief financial officers, as well as investors, shareholders, company analysts,’ that presented an update for the effectiveness of employee engagement in raising performance and productivity across the UK economy.

And yet we still hear from industry watchers such as Gallup that measured levels of growing engagement are close to flat and, worse still, employee disengagement isn’t diminishing quickly enough.

This year Deloitte informed us with their Global Human Capital Trends 2015, that for business leaders, culture and engagement was rated the most important issue overall, edging out leadership from 2014.

So, might it be the case that too many business leaders are simply delegating (possibly dumping?) this seemingly number one strategic imperative to their HR leadership?

Tanith Dodge, HR Director at Marks and Spencer is once again a conference speaker today. As I recall, she has supported Engage for Success from their beginning. As she charts today the M&S journey of change in corporate culture and engagement best practice, I can’t imagine she lacked continual support from her M&S Board.

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