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p03 no more carrot and stick? Why financial incentives don’t work
p06 Switch yourself on: The role of social media in engagement
Improving business performance
Stripping down: How the recession helped us find our inner worth P10
across all sectors of the economy. Feeding back is vital: many organisations have a ‘you said. Employee voice means involving people in the way the business is run. 22-23 Arcadia Avenue. please contact us: T.co. he most effective companies and organisations really do believe that their people are their best asset. or in teams. But it is hard to see how companies will face up to the challenges of increased global competition. performance . redundancy and health and safety. The risk of listening is that you may hear things you don’t want to hear. Leaders need views.co. Many employers told us they valued this collective approach as an essential underpinning for employee engagement. many voices A strong. This is no ‘touchy feely’ issue.uk • cREATIvE DIREcTOR: Andy Sweetman. these organisations ensure that employees are informed about the issues facing the business. pensions. They have a culture in which people are listened to – not just communicated with . and business What gets measured. Employers could save a fortune by talking to their ‘internal consultants’. But without this openness it is hard to see how staff can understand how best to help improve performance at every level. as well as day to day ones. or the production line.uk • PROJEcT MAnAgER: Georges Banna. many organisations had developed strong collective mechanisms too. andy@lyonsdown. because that essential early-warning mechanism on the shop floor. demonstrating that employee input doesn’t just disappear into the ether. or information and consultation machinery. gets managed T It’s a good rule of thumb: if you want to know how to do something better. and who understand how their role fits into the bigger picture. we found informed. and how the public sector will meet the twin challenges of reduced spending and of improving services without a fundamental change in culture. PUBLISHER: Bradley Scheffer.” But failing to listen can only undermine the potential of an organisation’s people to drive the business forward. David Macleod and I visited organisations around the country while we were writing our report Engaging for Success. We saw the positive impact that such practices have on performance and productivity. As well as engaging with employees individually.co.uk E. to deal with overarching issues like pay and conditions. trust and commitment within the workplace. has gone unheeded. When employee proposals cannot be implemented giving an explanation of the reason is important too. And equally we saw the positive impact that being listened to and trusted has on individual employees. In a Towers Watson study using data from over 360. Where engagement worked well. we did’ approach which emphasises the value they place on listening. www. Comparing high-engagement to low-engagement companies over a three-year period. London.uk • EDITOR: Anthony Wilks. writes Nita Clarke.co.uk • PRODUcTIOn MAnAgER: Sarah Ostheimer. facing up for example to the huge challenge of coming through the recession. often working in partnership with employers. There is a clear business imperative. Lyonsdown Media Group.000 employees across more than 40 companies in the world’s ten largest economies. independent and informed employee voice is one of the key ingredients of employee engagement in successful organisations. firstname.lastname@example.org staff can be daunting too. Listening to employees takes courage: as one senior manager told us during our review. 0208 349 4363 W. It is important that each organisation develops the approach that is right for them. The IPA is a no-for-profit registered charity that has worked for workplace partnership and engagement for over 100 years. It can mean that little things later blow up into a full-blown crisis.uk For more information on any of our supplements. feedback and ideas from people at the front-line to help meet the challenges of competition. georges@lyonsdown. big and small. It’s a ‘win win’ for all concerned. We maintain the world’s largest database of workforce opinion norms by country. committed and eager to improve business performance. N3 2JU . anthony@lyonsdown. Above all. or the ward.co. nita clarke: Director. of providing a better service. our practice was further bolstered in march 2007 by the acquisition of International Survey Research (ISR). as well as global high-performing companies. industry and job level.lyonsdown. the differences were substantial: about towers Watson towers Watson is a leading global professional services company that has been delivering expertise in the field of employee surveys since 1956. And employees who feel involved in the organisation. As one employer said: ‘we want the staff council backing engagement – not telling employees not to fill in the staff survey!’ Taking the decision to listen and engage with employee voices is a key step on the road to employee engagement. involved and energised employees. We could sense the strength of common purpose. It’s a good rule of thumb: if you want to know how to do something better.co. “Balance sheets don’t answer back. Organisations with an effective and empowered employee voice make sure that people at all levels are actively encouraged to give views. submit ideas and raise questions. and they emphasised the importance of aligning employee relations strategy with employee engagement. ask the person doing it. we examined the relationship between different levels of employee engagement and financial performance. Other organisations had a company council. Trade unions were playing an important part in many workplaces.and have a real input into decision-making on important issues.co. The Involvement and Participation Association (IPA) and co-author of the Macleod Review Engaging for Success. are more motivated.uk A. Towers Watson has developed a framework that defines engaged employees as having: • A rational understanding of and support for their organisation’s goals and values (“think”) • An emotional attachment to and pride in their organisation (“Feel”) • The motivation / willingness to invest discretionary effort in their role to meet the organisation’s goals (“act”) Measuring – and benchmarking – all three components is crucial to reaping the bottom-line benefits of engagement.02_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group one team. D rawing on a database of opinions from millions of employees around the world. info@lyonsdown. Sharing information – about future plans. based on trusting employees and listening to them. sarah@lyonsdown. ask the person doing it.
In his groundbreaking studies in the 1950s and ‘60s. he does suggest changes that would encourage more responsible behaviour.” Anderson. Or it could be made possible to claw back bonuses when an employee loses a bank money – a measure which he thinks could have prevented the credit crunch. “I honestly believe the credit crunch is a direct result of the City’s short-term gambling and the bonus culture. a former utilities research analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort bank. “If you gamble and succeed. So why has it taken so long for businesses to catch on? One problem is that many of the contInuEd on pagE 04 >> . Professor Marsden also advocates a change in the City’s bonus culture: “Banking staff should be concerned with maximising shareholder value. when an organisation is seeking to develop a strategy for motivating its staff. People could receive a higher proportion of their bonus in shares. it’s important that the organisation looks at the type of people it has attracted and that it wants to attract. for example. Herzberg concluded that “job enrichment remains the key to designing work that motivates employees”. “You have to remember that the City is full of young. and the interest they derive from work can be as important as any financial incentive. Motivational factors also vary enormously from one person to another and among cultures. while for others it isn’t. challenge. People are motivated by a whole variety of factors. Marsden says.“Teachers. writes anthony Beachey. However. says Marsden. Professor of Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics. If they get a bonus that is twice as large as a colleague’s. and increasing responsibility rather than financial incentives and argued that spiralling wage increases simply motivated people “to seek the next wage increase”. for example. the worst that can happen is that you lose your job. the American psychologist Frederick Herzberg found that people are motivated by interesting work. and it’s not that difficult to get another one. In ‘One More Time. may be overridden by offering large bonuses. nurses or firefighters. Anderson comments that he never saw a correlation between how much money people received and how happy they were. but remuneration is not so important for people who decide to become teachers.” Consequently. may grumble about their pay but the things that really motivate them could be having pupils who are eager to learn. they immediately think they are twice as good a human being. The ethical considerations that should apply to auditors or accountants. How Do You Motivate Employees?’.” The system of rewards also leads to criminal behaviour. pleasant surroundings and good equipment. “Clearly there are some people for whom extra money is a big motivator. They have a duty to look after the funds that are entrusted to them by investors. T he news that banks are handing out bumper bonuses has predictably reignited public rage over the financial rewards bestowed upon City “fatcats”. and that it “ultimately caused people in structured finance knowingly to infect the world with perhaps a trillion dollars of dubious loans. If you lose. in the form of insider trading and false rumours.” has little doubt that the global financial crisis has discredited the bonus system in the UK and the USA. one of the most requested articles ever published in the Harvard Business Review. testosterone-filled men who are incredibly competitive. “You learn on day one that the risk is asymmetrical. that businesses seem to be taking it on board. But does all this money actually motivate staff in the best way? And does it make them happy? David Marsden.” he says.” WIndS oF changE? Anderson believes it’s unlikley there will be te global co-ordination necessary to bring about significant changs to teh bonus system. he argues. backed by dodgy mortgages in America”. I was told from the very moment I entered the City (in 1996) that it was a hire-and-fire world and that ‘jam tomorrow’ was worthless.” BlamE thE BonuS Geraint Anderson. believes that income is important up to a point but beyond that.” he says. there is not much correlation between extra money and greater happiness. author of “Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile.an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group EmployEE EngagEmEnt_03 no more carrot and stick We have known for decades that financial incentives don’t improve the way people work. “Teachers may grumble about pay but the thing that really motivates them could be having pupils that are eager to learn” which they would not be allowed to sell for a long time. “The City has obvious attractions.” Bottom up There is plenty of academic support for the idea that factors other than money will motivate people in their work. after damning criticisms of excessive pay. argues that a bonus system based on performance over the past 12 months inevitably prompts an individual to take reckless and massive gambles because “while the casino is still open”. you can get a huge reward. It is only now.
but providing opportunities for skills development is also vital.uk. Originally formed in 1949 for editors of staff publications. whether they enjoy their job and whether they get on with the people they work with. Clearly.” says Noel. considered the business case for adjusting the balance between almost complete independence and a measured degree of joint approaches to clients and more internal efficiencies. employs close to 3000 people across Europe. Dominic Walters is chairman of the British Association of communicators in Business (ciB). A focus on professionalism and standards in internal communication will help to support this welcome trend.com case study: How QBE drove up engagement through a brand based approach contInuEd FRom pagE 03 lessons need to be learnt at the lower end of the pay scale. FaIR gamE Nick Starritt. namely their pay. More information: http://cib.says the results of their employee engagement surveys suggest that there are three main areas that people value about their work. He explains: “It’s comparatively easy to achieve a fairly high level of engagement simply by paying >> Herzberg argued that spiralling wage increases simply motivated people “to seek the next wage increase” competitively – you don’t have to award huge bonuses. Engage for Change. even if they don’t know it yet. “Given the cost of training a new worker. achievement (people want to work for organisations of which they are proud and receive recognition for their own personal contributions to an organisation): and camaraderie – we are social beings. so has the realisation that communication cannot simply be about ‘telling’ people things. but the two . In our experience. are they proud of their workplace’s values. and we have found that there are usually three things that people value about their employment.04_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group constant flow Dominic Walters discusses the importance of internal communication in supporting employee engagement. “Our work focuses on lower-skilled and lower-paid employees. Working closely with the QBE senior management team . As Starritt points out. R Today’s employees expect ongoing conversation rather than simply being given information. “there is no alternative for being paid fairly and competitively. the decision was taken to engage QBE’s entire European staff in what became called ‘The Big Difference’ programme.000 globally. “Most people come to work seeking: to be treated fairly and equitably in their place of work. Managing Director of Sirota Survey Intelligence. they often don’t make business sense. the association’s activities have expanded and in May it will become the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC). Demands on communicators have also intensified – now they must appreciate the complexities of workplace dynamics and be just as comfortable helping leaders and managers to communicate better as developing communication programmes and writing clearly. And as understanding about engagement has increased. . an employee’s job”. rather than hinder.” People clearly need a decent wage. By licensing staff to contribute their own ideas on how to make the brand meaningful. mentoring and asking for their views on how work processes can be improved. developing professional qualifications and promoting best practice. Employers can motivate staff and retain their loyalty by offering educational opportunities. Equally. employee engagement requires effective internal communication. Alison Noel. there is no replacement for a pat on the back. and applied to workers who don’t often get much of the limelight. Employers are increasingly seeing employee engagement as an integral element of overall organisational strategy development – rather than something to add on later. Not only do financial rewards not lead to happiness. Having enough pay to enjoy life. companies need to adopt consistent and coherent methods of non-financial recognition and arrange business processes to facilitate. A lucky few might even find them. the extent to which employees are in tune with their organisation and committed to its goals depends on three key factors – do they feel valued by their employer in terms of pay. the role of the brand QBE. Leadership and management are the main influences affecting all of these factors. doing a job that stimulates and interests you. and help match reality with brand promise by drawing up team-specific actions focused on internal and external customer experience. the specialist business insurer. The evolution of CiB very much mirrors the development of internal communication. Once the top group was aligned and confident. it is clearly in an employer’s interest to nurture staff and encourage them to progress. and 13. whose specialisms include employer and employee engagement.” That is not to say that money is not important. the leader and employee engagement consultants. Recognising internal communication as a professional specialism in its own right. benefits and the way people behave. and do they believe in its products or services. Today’s employees expect ongoing conversation rather than simply being given information. The consensus by and large was that this was the time to start creating more of a one-QBE internal and customer experience by developing a brand which had greater shared meaning amongst staff and which was more visible and differentiated in customer markets. working with people that you like and respect. Our data indicates that equity is by far the most important of these factors. This invited staff to understand the changing market conditions and the present customer brand experience. according to Nick: leaders because they create the overall climate in an organisation. deals with people far removed from the culture of the City. and managers because their actions will have a direct impact upon the workers under them.money and praise – are not substitutable”. The array of tools and technologies also means that communicators need the understanding to determine the most appropriate strategy. these are the things people want. In 2008 there was a sense that operating completely independent businesses under one banner may have been precluding potential opportunities for cross-business-unit collaboration and multi-category relationships. the IoIC will focus on raising the function’s profile. the programme drove up levels of engagement and helped to build awareness of the role of the brand in achieving success. esearch shows a close correlation between high levels of employee engagement and the achievement of overall organisational objectives. But to get into the top quartile. Director of Skills for Work Ltd.
Q: How can leaders remain decisive and inspirational when some of the fundamentals of the way business has been done in recent years have been questioned? A: The basic tenets of good business remain intact. bust or transition lasts forever. rather than just the safe ones • Lack of a common “mindset” and “language” of achievement which pulls a global team on the same page with one voice • Not enough awareness and understanding of each other’s strengths to invest in each other’s success • Fragmented views on where people individually and collectively think the team is at in terms of performance.an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group EmployEE EngagEmEnt_05 Knowing your top team’s dna Rhea Duttagupta makes the case for how to build the returns from an aligned and engaged top team Q: Why is engaging the top team so important? A: The team at the top sets the tone for the rest of the organisation to follow . the light bulb moments will transform the way you operate as a board. trust. the insight and advantage of an external. Q: What does the board alignment process involve? A: It is a brief program delivered in two parts. relational or behavioural ‘interferences’ between members • Poor dynamics between executive and non-executive directors. conscious and responsible leadership to their internal and external stakeholders by first “holding the mirror” on themselves and then paving the way. Earning the right to ask questions is a function of three Rs: rapport.corporatednaconsulting. Knowing how clients think and what makes them tick or not tick is key. leadership psychology and creative facilitation to design powerful interventions. Q: What necessitates your proprietary DnA analysis? Why is it unique? A: Today’s business environment sees an increasing number of industry regulators mandating that boards review their effectiveness.g. This will determine discretionary effort. Therefore it is not about questioning the fundamentals. A specific aspect is ‘mapping polarities’: looking at the healthy and unhealthy tensions of the climate. The “it’s different this time” alarm signal is rarely heeded. relationships. old and new members • Transitioning leaders ‘feeling unsettled’ or at the risk of derailing • Lack of confidence and security to have real conversations. our clientele is not exclusively within the financial services sector and extends to a wide range of other sectors. a willing mindset and a sharpening of skills that can go beyond many executives’ previous experience. Alignment and Action. unfortunately. and reciprocity. emotional commitment is four times as valuable as rational commitment. In the same way that organisations define financial capital (“what you have”). alignment and maturity . the first half gives a tangible measure on the psychological climate of the dynamics between its insiders and the second part looks at the AAA process: Authenticity. By carrying out this exercise.co. impact and presence (“the being”) facets of their leadership self-image to stay true to the core. going “above and beyond” what is required. It is a self-help concept that we bring to clients. Chairmen. They. derailers. boards demonstrate their commitment to good. psychology and creative interventions to bring it to life. she has a 14 year track record of working with management boards.mindset. As research proves. ‘tenacity’ and ‘resilience’ are all underpinned by emotional commitment more than rational. ‘negotiating’. Corporate DNA’s intervention is unique because (a) it offers boards “You are the leadership team. Being resilient in turbulent times is more than surviving. values. For more information visit: www. intellectual capital (“what you know how to do”) and social capital (“who you know”). and your financial report on the other…. ‘influencing’. core values are compromised. the complete picture”. blindspots and one big opportunity. Q: How does an understanding of organisational psychology help you to ‘fix’ a company’s DnA? A: It gives those answers that are not found easily. The entire process is strongly grounded in actions and metrics with a re-measure in 6 months. Q: Do some industry sectors need this more than others? A: Contrary to what might be the current perception. This is because the common threads of human reaction to the peaks and troughs of business cycles (which contain the clues to avoiding the booms and busts in the first place) are often clouded by the view that today is different to yesterday. We know how the human psyche responds to such events and we at CorporateDNA train that psyche to adjust for the different economic factors each time. or developed. It is having the inner strength to know your personal “core”. but allowing leaders to maintain their confidence to be inspirational and decisive in adversity and its aftermath. Current circumstances do not look for a whole new kind of leadership but one with different tweaks and edits. An ex-Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Q: You say you ‘earn the right’ to tell organisations what they should hear? How do you go about earning their trust? A: By understanding them really well. Competencies such as ‘deliver transformational change’. values and behaviours. have not always been adhered to. e. similarities found across companies in the fall-out from the recent economic turmoil. Q: What is the one thing you mention to a board that they need before starting the DnA alignment process? A: The ‘wanting’ to do it! Achieving genuine synergy and interdependence at the most senior executive level of a company requires courage and curiosity to look at the old in new ways while exploring new horizons. Some recurring themes and patterns across boards that we have addressed and resolved • Cultural. governance and risk aspects (left brain). By adding to your toolkit. though it is based on a clear methodology. And (b) the process combines a rich and unique blend of leadership dynamics. But often these reviews focus purely on financial.” Q: Is emotional commitment just as important as rational commitment? A: People try more (or don’t try) as a result of emotional commitment. respect. followed by a team debrief and reporting on strengths. CEOs and HRDs. Imagine picking up your DNA report on one hand. The process is not an onerous one. Q: Have you been able to identify common management problems that you think may have either helped cause or resulted from the global downturn? A: Introspection and being “frozen in the headlights” are not. but when adapting to these backgrounds sometimes. independent.uk Rhea is the founder of CorporateDNA Consulting. a team combining organisational behaviour. or tested in line with today’s challenges. or how hard an employee is willing to work. Recognising this reveals how a leader can flex the influence (“the doing”). Getting that tone right makes all the difference. resilience and complementary strengths (right brain). not rational commitment. unsurprisingly. we understand psychological capital to be “how you are. qualitative and benchmarked review of those other areas. coaching. consciously or unconsciously. ‘manage ambiguity’. No boom.
One is to focus on learning and development. These people want bite-sized pieces in context for the challenge they’re facing right now. On-thejob development activity is one basic indicator of increased engagement. Identifying the development areas of a business ensures that the right strategies can be deployed. There are other approaches. If it is accepted that culture is the sum of behaviour. DareToShare was rolled out by BT’s Chief Learning Officer Peter Butler last year. results driven culture that can survive a challenging economic climate. Emotionally intelligent leaders provide a platform of engagement and involvement that wins the hearts and minds of the workforce. ensuring that the culture is fit for purpose. Employees can engage in development activities whenever it’s convenient. I n our fast-changing knowledge society. the question facing all CEOs is: how do we deliver more for less and maximise the performance of our people? The answer is the application of EQ and the subsequent transformation of business culture. stakeholder management and the delivery of positive KPIs and bottom line results. great leaders will be those that possess a natural and inherent level of EQ and apply it to successfully galvanise their workforce behind a sustainable. This new environment opens up new connections and opportunities. To enable transformational change. DareToShare has proven a tremendous success for BT. Organisations that are adopting social media tools for workforce development are finding that when used wisely they provide the ‘glue’ to support and engage employees.5% next. Jon Husband. By embedding robust performance and consequence management. a purpose-driven organisation appeals to workers’ intrinsic motivation to their jobs well. They’re not interested in ‘just-in-case’. chief executive of change management consultancy SFL. hungry to learn. The resulting employee engagement leads to high performance. Emotional Intelligence – the strongest predictor of success Emma Jones. the first element of culture change endorsed by SFL is to hold up a mirror to the organisation and understand the starting position. contextpoor learning. charles Jennings is Director of Duntroon Associates and the Internet Time Alliance W “Emotional intelligence accounts for 90 per cent of what’s required for leadership” Daniel Goleman The cultural tone of an organisation is set and embedded by the top tier of leadership. you must first transform the behaviour within. those that contribute discretionary effort.com “Why are we complacent when confronted with data that suggest most managers are more likely to douse the flames of employee enthusiasm than fan them. humility and a balance of professionalism and realism are required. Evidence shows that engaged employees. Therefore EQ governs the performance that is transposed across the business. And we know that engaged employees increase productivity and perform to high standards over time. Undoubtedly you can coach certain aspects which contribute to EQ. ith the economy set to grow by at best 1% this year and 2. or “dynamic two-way flows of power and authority based on knowledge. Smart companies are encouraging their people to leverage personal and professional networks across and beyond the enterprise. credibility and a focus on results. writing in a recent Wall Street Journal blog post . empowering workers and enabling the workforce to be all that they can be. is more likely to have staying power and greater impact. In light of all this. managers have a woeful record of maintaining the success factor of employee engagement. a colleague in the Internet Time Alliance. On the other hand. We need to look at ways to use this self-service learning approach as a lever to support already engaged workers and to engage others. As identified in Goleman’s theory of EQ. a level of behavioural self-awareness is crucial. Indeed. describes organisational hierarchy as being overlain with “Wirearchy”. They found that 78 per cent of the employees surveyed had a preference for learning from colleagues over other modes of learning. being self-selecting. It has also delivered a double-whammy – tapping expertise across the workforce as well as releasing employees from the tyranny of time-based development.06_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group learning how to switch on Charles Jennings examines the role of social media in engaging employees. trust. and dedicated to creating value to the organisation? Dan Pink points out in his new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us that engagement is baked into human nature. Butler’s team surveyed BT’s engineers before embarking on a solution to the challenge of reducing employee time-to-competence and improving BT’s customer service.sflworld. will take their learning and development into their own hands rather than wait to have it served to them. These are traits synonymous with EQ and successful leaders who deliver and maintain sustainable results will inevitably display them. We have a huge opportunity to build employee engagement through social media. Learning and knowledge work both require engagement. enabled by interconnected people and technology”. strong performance is recognised and poor performance is not tolerated. The ultimate result of this type of approach – using social media for employee development – is a more effective. commitment. However. content-heavy. Wirearchies lift organisations to new levels and sharpen the game for managers who need to learn to lead in new environments. So they built a social learning platform to address that. learning has become the work and the work has become learning. and are more likely to frustrate extraordinary accomplishment than to foster it?” gary hamel. www. and using carrots and sticks dampens enthusiasm rather than flames it. moral courage. outlines the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) in leadership through culture change. At the same time. then in order to transform the culture of an organisation. more engaged and happier workforce. organisations themselves are becoming more networked as they evolve from nineteenth and twentieth century hierarchies. A case in point is British Telecom’s new DareToShare social learning platform where any employee can upload videos and podcasts to support their colleagues in doing their jobs better. So how do managers sustain workforces that are eager to engage. Added to this the rise of social media tools is providing fodder for this migration from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ learning. dedication and cultural alignment in addition to exceptional service levels. This approach is less costly than instructor-led programmes and.
an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group Insight: State of the nation New research from Towers Watson reveals some worrying tensions in UK companies that need to be addressed. What may be of concern to senior leaders is the low importance employees attach to the “business” aspects of the role that they would consider to be essential.uk T he 2010 Towers Watson Global Workforce Study confirms that the recession has fundamentally altered several aspects of the way employees view their work and leaders in the UK. they also show different preferences . visit www. The immediate manager role therefore needs to be less about oversight and control. are more likely to move jobs if opportunities arise. At the same time. In the face of such worrying trends. the manager role needs to be much less about oversight and control. You also cannot delegate your role in driving employee engagement. removal of obstacles. The study also shows that over half of disengaged employees are not making plans to leave their current employer. REdEFInE thE RolE oF thE lInE managER: Nearly one in three employees think there are substantial obstacles to doing their job well. and that conditions in their job are not conducive to achieving exceptional performance. such as high potential employees. The Towers Watson Global Workforce Study 2010 is a survey of more than 20. the study finds that key talent. Rather than ignoring the role of leaders in driving engagement. companies need to continue to understand what drives engagement in their business and to act on the factors that have the greatest impact on improved business performance. REdEFInE What caREER advancEmEnt looKS lIKE: The study highlights how a new model of career advancement has become embedded in the minds of UK workers (Figure 2). compared to 37 per cent in the population as a whole). and more about enablement. such as: maintaining a high profile outside the organisation or positioning the organisation to compete in the global business environment. creating opportunities for development. and helping teams adjust to change. and helping teams to adjust to change. And this is much more than simply creating a “great” workplace. Career development will need to look and feel different for different workforce segments.000 private sector employees in 22 countries. companies may need to redefine how they intend their leaders to build trust and demonstrate interest in employee well-being.such as placing a higher ranking on formal career progression (57 per cent.towerswatson. linking local objectives to the greater goals of the organisation. and you will need support from line managers in closing the “disconnect” between you and your employees. Furthermore. It’s the most comprehensive analysis of post-recession employee attitudes and engagement levels available today. While high potential employees are more demanding in their career expectations. 53 per cent of employees define career advancement as being about acquiring new skills to do their current job better. a nEW Way FoRWaRd? The findings send a clear message to leaders: you need to better communicate the business’s strategic priorities and plans (and their importance to the success of the business) to regain employee trust and confidence. This is higher than those who define it as being about moving up a defined career path (37 per cent). or even about increased compensation (36 per cent). with roughly half of these saying they would prefer to work for a single company their entire career and the rest wanting to work for no more than three companies. For a free copy of the uK Executive Summary of the Study. creating opportunities for development. removal of obstacles. The 2010 study supports our previous findings that senior leaders play a key role in driving employee engagement. These high levels of ‘retained but disengaged’ staff pose a risk to UK businesses as the economy begins the long road to recovery. linking local objectives to the greater goals of the organisation. FIguRE 1 FIguRE 2 . A startling 8 out of 10 of the respondents said they want to settle into a job. and to make them eligible for other jobs. Leaders and managers will need mentoring and developing if they are to be successful. and more about enablement. HR’s priorities and requirements may need to change as well. The study points to a number of key areas they should focus on in order to sustain or improve employee engagement: cloSE thE “dISconnEct” between what leaders and employees think is important for the leadership role FIguRE 1 shows the attributes employees desire of their leaders.co.
• Engage your leaders. The internal communications team is still pumping out the right messages. www. keep talking.08_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group Why don’t we talk anymore? A lack – or breakdown – in communication is a danger sign in the workplace as much as in private life. operational change and business transformation.” says Scott. respect. Renault Trucks and others to have meaningful conversations across and between all levels of their organisations. +44 (0)7710 130 755 Jerome Reback t. “Organisations invest huge sums in reward and recognition. But if it’s a one-way conversation – broadcasting messages without listening for the response – then inevitably the return on investment is disappointing. and communication. shared values and pride are all difficult to maintain or recover.emic-communications. BA and Network Rail in the news. info@engageforchange. Jon and his team can be contacted on: T: +44 203 286 1799 E: info@eminternalcomms. Religion and philanthropy aside. it’s not hard to see why. So whatever you do. • Engage your people in developing and executing strategy and change.com w. or strategy and to demonstrate an engaged role model. training “There’s a huge difference between saying ‘we’re listening’ and sitting down and paying attention” and development. or understanding translates into good practice. employees are ‘involved’ at opportune moments. Yet many organisations simply fail to notice when they stop happening. “And without genuine dialogue the fundamental building blocks of engagement break down. As Jonathon Scott from internal communication and engagement specialists em(ic)* says. It generates energy. Trust. staff facilities. and with uncomfortable examples such as Royal Mail. and these days it’s pretty much a given that engaging employees and building profits are linked. But that doesn’t mean the process is well understood. vision.com W: www. But like a personal relationship that’s lost its sparkle. managers and supervisors in developing their own engagement skills capability. deep down there’s something missing. M eaningful conversations are a key factor in employee engagement. optimism and real trust – and clients can take that and start working on all the other elements of engagement. One of the key techniques they have developed is the World Café – enabling valuable informal discussions between staff who might not normally meet face to face.the results can be dramatic.com/ eminternalcomms engage for Change is the leading advisor to corporations and public-sector institutions on the best ways to engage leaders and employees to drive day-to-day performance. +44 (0)7802 865 114 e.com Twitter: http://twitter. +44 (0)7969 651 853 John Smythe t. When trust breaks down – on either side . “World Cafés can be astonishingly powerful. Volvo. • Create an employee value proposition that will attract and retain people. as everyone takes ownership of success and their own part in it. and a major contributor to innovation and cost control. The sense of belonging and being heard creates a sea change in attitudes. change.com . iconic companies like Cadbury. confidence. We’ll help you: • Engage your leaders to coalesce around purpose.” In the wake of the MacLeod report. BIS. and commercially catastrophic. Guinness and Colman’s knew the value of a workforce that felt like family. • Engage your own people and your corporate partners to contribute to and deliver the brand and customer experience. Contact: lynette proctor t.” Scott talks a lot about nurturing trust. “There’s a huge difference between saying ‘we’re listening’ and sitting down and paying attention – and people respond very positively. the team at em(ic)* have been helping Defra.engageforchange.
Engaged employees are more creative and committed.an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group EmployEE EngagEmEnt_09 Employee health check Helen Giles gives a quick guide to engaging your staff. a multi awardwinning hR support service for SmE companies and charities. can be directed to those aspects of culture and behaviour that drive business performance. The advent of Web 2. • Forgetting to thank people for doing a good job. They need clear ways of making their concerns and ideas heard. • Mishandling redundancies in a way that makes people feel like disposable trash. Innovation. For example. Efficiency. Our survey strategy ensures we understand exactly how motivated our people are around each of the key pillars to our business strategy. Our practice was further bolstered in March 2007 by the acquisition of International Survey Research (ISR). Today’s workers are not only more reliant on technology to do their jobs. consistency of behaviours and stated values. Guided by knowledge of a co mpany’s strategic business priorities.” Building on decades of research and client work in the area of culture-strategy alignment. risk management. Whilst PLEs are used frequently in compulsory and post-compulsory education. Q: Who’S got tImE FoR all thIS StuFF WhEn tImES aRE haRd? A: In financially difficult times you can’t be tempted to go the lazy and unproductive way of throwing money and benefits at people to keep them sweet.org helen and her team Engagement at work… advanced learning Helping RBS deliver its new business strategy s well as being a great way to give employees a ‘voice’. T he nature of the workplace is constantly changing. their take-up within the workplace is limited.eu Karen velasco is deputy chairman of the British Institute for learning and development and managing director of peopleSolve. It really depends on the strategy the organisation is pursuing. For more information. and will recommend you to others. The team is providing real insights from the survey data which are helping our businesses understand the people decisions they need to take in areas such as leadership.” aBout toWERS WatSon Towers Watson is a leading global professional services company that has been delivering expertise in the field of employee surveys since 1956. and we feed this directly into our Executive Performance Assessment. Low engagement means a poor experience for your customers. RBS see it as imperative therefore to restore levels of pride and ensure employees are fully engaged around the new strategy. give better customer service. when the UK Government took majority ownership. industry and job level. A cultural shift is therefore needed to create the environment in which informal learning via the Internet can take place. says. A ever for our human capital strategy to provide our businesses with a deep understanding of the links between effective people management. and to help shape the future of technologyenhanced employee engagement. RBS Since it’s near collapse in late 2008. interactive and meet the demands and learning style of younger workers. along with profiles of the specific cultural differentiators that support each of these strategic priorities: Customer service. “Towers Watson has been supporting us in all these activities. helen giles is managing director of Broadway’s Real people. More organisations are embracing virtual worlds to deliver personal learning environments (PLEs) that are realistic.com E-mail: realinfo@broadwaylondon. • Failing to train and support managers. Q: What IS EmployEE EngagEmEnt? A: People feel valued by the organisation so that they want to ‘go the extra mile’. Global Head of Human Capital at RBS explains: “It is now more important than New technology is being used to develop highly personalised learning environments. with mobile devices such as BlackBerrys and iPhones being used to deliver engaging learning. • Balking at running a staff survey ‘because we’re going through a difficult time’. Quality and Image (brand perception/reputation). common pRactIcES guaRantEEd to dRIvE doWn EngagEmEnt • Delegating ‘engagement’ to HR instead of leading from the top. an employee survey is a vital tool to understand how well an organisation is doing at creating the specific culture that best supports the performance of its business strategy. Towers Watson has identified five major strategic business priorities. www. take less sick leave. Q: hoW can WE InSpIRE EngagEmEnt? A: Staff need to understand where the organisation is going next and what their part is in that. • Over-focusing on pay and material awards – these are not the primary drivers of engagement. Organisations with high engagement are several times more likely to come out on top at the end of a recession. they are more reliant on it to help them learn the skills and knowledge required to keep up-to-date. and employers and employees must change with it. Greig Aitken. Senior Consultant at Towers Watson. • Appointing managers who have no selfawareness or interest in people. as well as global highperforming companies. writes Karen Velasco. and reward. talent management. Q: Why BothER WIth EngagEmEnt? A: The most innovative and successful organisations are those with the highest levels of employee engagement. and all follow-up actions. • Letting under-performance and bad behaviour go unchallenged.role-project.broadwaysrealpeople. . superior service and financial performance. Engagement is about relationships and quality time between managers and staff. whereas retail banks emphasise delighting customers and providing efficient service. the content of an employee survey. The last few years have seen many developments relating to these trends. pharmaceuticals stress ongoing innovation in product development. They need engaging managers who will empower them to become the very best they can be. Research has shown that less than a third of UK employees are fully engaged. visit www. and employee engagement can be enhanced. The ROLE project is a Europeanwide project addressing the responsive and intuitive element of PLEs and building a learning environment that is truly engaging.0 technologies like social networking has provided employees with the opportunity to create their own flexible learning environment away from the constraints of formal systems. Organisations are often reluctant to give staff carte blanche use of the Internet to get access to Facebook and YouTube. We maintain the world’s largest database of workforce opinion norms by country. “It is important to note that there is no ‘one size fits all’ high performance culture. as Steve Young. risk culture. the RBS group has a new strategy to return it to standalone strength. However. are less likely to leave you.
but the way businesses have responded to the recession suggests there is already a deep understanding of the concept. “The so-called ‘nice decade’. whether those implementing them understand them as such or not. “In the past companies have shed the older. that found that increasing engagement related workplace practices by 10 per cent raised profits by £1.8 per cent decline in those with low engagement.” For MacLeod. for example. “People seem to intuitively understand employee engagement. who was on the specialist forum for the review. and the amount we invest in managers is till a lot less than other developed countries. and the strategies they’ve chosen have been moulded by a new working environment of engagement issue.500 per employee per year. with things like shorter weeks and pay cuts. One of the benefits of a recession is that it brings its own story. As Willmott says.” she says “There is an attempt to keep on people who are valuable to the organisation. The importance of line managers.7 per cent. compared with a 3. Essex County Council (ECC) is unusual in setting up its own. MacLeod says we are still a long way off fulfilling the potential of our workers. As Robinson says. Or the Towers Perrin-ISR cross-organisational study showing that over a 12 month period those companies with high engagement scores increased net income growth by 13. Willmott says. W hen David MacLeod and Nita Clarke published their report into employee engagement in the middle of the recession last year. only 39 per cent of employees believed that senior managers would take action from the results of the survey. “what you find in a recession is that people don’t want to just sit around finding out if they’ve got a job but contribute to the success of the organisation. principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies. “It highlights the fact that is the job of the leader to engage. gave employees a lot more choice in the labour market. such as the employee panel. The figures are all there. MacLeod states that one of the key drivers of employee engagement is a clear story of where your company is going. Laura Sibley. If the private sector is anything to go by. though when you question them about it in details they’ll probably give different answers.” This is a particular problem in the public sector. If this isn’t followed up with action and a clear strategy then it will make the situation worse. In the case of ECC. Too often we get management by accident in this country. “they are the ones that need to be providing employees with clear objectives. a common problem MacLeod points out is that senior management think that doing employee engagement means doing a survey. and the strategies they’ve chosen have been moulded by an environment that has changed significantly since the last recession. Leaders have been looking for ways to survive. but maybe there’s a longer history to consider. The simple argument. and give them some scope within that. but now they’ve hung on to them. But I don’t think that matters too much. Ben Willmott. and what action has been taken has often revealed the same problems A survey isn’t enough to engage people on its own in attitudes to leadership as found in the private sector. and they must give them feedback and coach them. “They say they get it. it is the leadership who set the tone. So far the interest in employee engagement strategies in the public sector has been variable. is frequently stated. feedback and coaching on a day to day basis. The recession could actually have helped the employee engagement issue.” This has prompted her team to work closely wit the leadership group in organising events and engaging directly with employees through a number of forums.” But this shouldn’t encourage complacency.” These are employee engagement strategies. employee relations adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says that in the last decade or so the deal between employer and employee has changed.” What is encouraging is that the tools businesses developed to remain competitive in the good times have been carried over to help them survive in the bad. welcomes the feedback regarding leadership.” says Dilys Robinson. ready-made.” she says. There’s the IES/Work Foundation report. They need to know how to focus their people on what’s required. as Mervyn King put it [referring to the period of ‘non-inflationary consistent expansion’ after Labour came to power]. “I did fear that all the positive work companies have done will disappear. where someone gets put in a management role simply because of their technical skills. Indeed. writes anthony Wilks. MacLeod says that while the line manager is certainly key to engagement. Employers had to become a lot more watchful of the war for talent and offer more attractive conditions. They must treat their staff as individuals. And this attitude comes from the top. Senior management are often simply too afraid of doing surveys in the first place because they don’t have the confidence to face negative feedback.” Robinson says. For MacLeod. head of the employee engagement team.” But for Robinson this recession has a particular story of its own. . is that improving levels of employee engagement correlates with improved performance. such changes will out them in a good positions to adapt to the difficulties presented by slashed budgets.10_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group Far sighted? The MacLeod review gave employee engagement a boost. there were fears that the issue could get buried beneath the stresses of economic survival. backed up repeatedly with statistics in the review. At the heart of it are some very simple practices which managers should follow. more expensive employees. “But luckily they are still saying it’s important. the strength of the case for engagement comes from the fact that it has been built on the need to improve productivity. which is threatened with “savage” cuts in the year ahead. in particular. “and you can never do too much leadership communication. four-person employee engagement team last year. there is still too much misunderstanding and fear surrounding the issue Leaders have been looking for ways to survive. In its 2009 survey.
or to disengagement. For more information call 020 7378 6884 or email info@taltalent. However.taltalent. disengaged workforce are clear to see for a leader who knows what to look for. different. The main indicator of disengagement is people working to their own agendas who resist new ideas or ways of working. seeking out pleasure and avoiding pain. It is our experience that the level of employee engagement in an organisation can be predicted by examining senior management . The first step to employee engagement is to understand the individual dynamics of the organisation. that are merit based. The next challenge is the organisation’s leaders. and when harnessed in the right way they can bring huge value to your business. with new leaders and teams. and these can give valuable information on levels of engagement. These events are free but attendance is by invitation only so please contact us if you are interested in joining us. seeking out pleasure and avoiding pain. TALTalent believes strongly that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not effective in promoting employee engagement. staff turnover data and so on.an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group EmployEE EngagEmEnt_11 Brain at work Emotions are a potent force. and our mission at TALTalent is to provide them with the knowledge. and they go the extra mile. as each operates in a different culture and market and has a different structure. Some companies have strong employee brands that makes it easy to recruit and motivate the bestqualified staff who are proud to work for them. financial rewards. And if everybody is engaged. The general tenet is that what you think influences what you feel and what you feel influences what you think.they talk to each other rather than about each other • Both leaders and individuals challenge each other openly • People are accountable for their own actions and take pride in their contribution to success • Individuals support the organisation’s brand and work to deliver on what the company promises • Mistakes are regarded as inevitable incidents on the road to experience. skills and tools to get their employees engaged. Every individual is E FIvE IndIcatoRS oF dISEngagEmEnt taKIng hold • Conflict is avoided. and every manager knows that their workforce needs to be engaged to release its full potential. TALTalent have worked with start-up organisations. Larger organisations often have established intelligence networks in the form of employee surveys and appraisals. engagement has seriously lapsed. Engagement is particularly important at times People are naturally hedonistic. from line supervisors to chief executives. but simply ‘do what the bosses tell them to do’. the indicators of a poorly-motivated. and every organisation has its own unique challenges and requirements. There is a danger that people will rationalise a narrow view of their own job responsibilities.com web: www. managing people when things go wrong. Managers are increasingly recognising that emotions are at play here. The next is a general decline in enthusiasm and energy levels as a result of lack trust and buy-in to the company and its purpose. of change. Getting employees emotionally committed to the company’s aims and objectives is one of the toughest challenges facing any manager. Are all the ideas and input coming from the leaders? If the employees do not feel their ideas matter. London April 27th Justin Webb talking about the parallels between the US and the UK elections. Are employees defensive? If they tend to be isolationist and protective of their role. the latest research in brain imaging is revealing a complex system of feedback loops that govern our behaviour and which can override the hedonistic principle. but experience is not the name given to the same mistakes we make over and over again SIx WayS to pRomotE EmployEE EngagEmEnt • Tap into the wealth of experience and ability of the workforce • Establish a system of recognition and rewards for effective work. These factors will have created a brand that employees may or may not subscribe to. At the employee levels. not resolved • Procrastination rules and decisions are not taken promptly • More important business information is shared round the water cooler rather than at official meetings • Correct procedure is more important than success • People fail to make their expectations clear and then resent the fact that they are not met FIvE FEatuRES oF an EngagEd WoRKFoRcE • Employees are loyal . emotionally satisfying and not always financial• Face up to change as a given and invest in developing employees who can adapt their skills accordingly • Balance top down and bottom up leadership to create an environment conducive to optimal performance had maximum engagement • Never assume a message given is the message received –use more than one approach to communicating and always consider employees as individuals • Make innovation and success everyones issue . they are more than a workforce .they are a team. and that people are naturally hedonistic. who may themselves have developed unconsciously into barriers to engagement. yet it often gets diluted in the general fray of day to day priorities. not just an intellectual recognition that they need to put in a day’s work to gain a day’s pay. Most leaders know how to behave in theory but have developed their own ways of doing things that become comfort zones. Our work focuses on understanding and influencing these positive and negative feedback loops that underpin behaviours both as individuals and as organisations.com TALTalent speaker events debating current hot business issues. Engaged employees don’t just turn up on time and do their job. London Seminar May 25th “Performance Management from 3 Perspectives”: how to maximise it. in M&A and business transformation situations to ensure enagagement remains on the performance management agenda. Stepping outside those zones activates defence mechanisms that can impede the ability to do the right things. success and a loyal and committed workforce. with a direct impact on their commitment. This article was written by graham Johnson and Ingrid Blades from TALTalent very driver knows that you don’t get full power from the engine until the clutch is fully engaged. Our long experience with clients has brought us to an understanding of the behavioural patterns that lead either to engagement.if they are self aware. TALTalent has built up a wide knowledge of the principles of psychology and experience of the practical tools and methods that are available to build a workplace culture that fosters engagement. they more likely to be motivate employees. flexible. Now look at communication flows within the organisation. a demoralised and fragmented workforce and mediocre performance. without regard to what might be best for the company at the time. open to change and skilled communicators. They love their work and bring all their creativity and energy to it. they will respond to pressure by keeping their heads under the parapet and getting on with their jobs rather than going on the offensive and seeking solutions to problems.
“We’re often called in when managers are looking at their business and get a sense of frustration that they should be achieving more – for example.” Yet Wakerley warns that major change is a double-edged sword. but only if it’s done right. although it’s involved in all threads. The result: a £100m improvement in profit before interest and tax.” A Among others. “By putting those two things together in a very organised way – with a focus on seeking outcomes and accelerating change – we drive up our clients’ ability to successfully deliver their goals . “There was a 20 per cent improvement in employee engagement. it may backfire and make staff disengaged and less productive. “We’ve seen a lot of opportunities for growth coming back onto the table again since the recession ended. “They want to make it into the FTSE 100 and become more profitable.” However. The second FTSE 250 company has seen its performance and profit hit by the recession. But what Wakerley calls “unreasonable” results become reasonable – and attainable – when a company is determined to involve all its employees on its transformation journey. but who are actively looking for ways to provide excellence either to their colleagues or to customers. “There are competitive pressures in their market. “That’s just the climate in which businesses should be looking to make transformational changes in their performance. And then you need to embed the new ways of working. Done poorly. The results of Boxwood’s sustainable transformation approach can be dramatic. These are people who sense there is more potential in their business and want to make a real step up. explains. it made all employees fear for the future. Boxwood. even while the difficult changes were being made. shouldn’t imagine they’re easy to achieve.” says Wakerley. such as redundancies. The first is having a clear vision for the organisation .” says Chris Wakerley. has noticed a new appetite for transformational change in corporate Britain. Boxwood has recently been asked by two FTSE 250 companies to use its transformation skills to help them double in size. certainly. Wakerley believes the starting point for companies that want to achieve transformational results that last long into the future is to build the capability and capacity for change. When companies had to put some staff on short-time or make others redundant. Colin Wilson. For more information call claire Webster on: tel: +44 (0) 203 1707240 or email: info@boxwoodgroup. you must listen to and include all the people in the organisation you need to make it successful. Unless they are willing to embrace transformation. managing director of Boxwood. There are three intertwined “threads” to a sustainable transformation project.” says Wakerley. The chief executive plans to use the dramatic changes to engage staff more closely in the company and to identify the rising stars in his business. It involved some pain. “We are designing a whole transformation programme that will lift the performance of all aspects of the business and will. you will fail. So the opportunity is there: add a willingness to change to a growing economy and there’s a real opportunity for sustainable transformation. explains Clark. one of the company’s directors.12_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group time to change The opportunity to change an organisation is an opportunity to engage employees. in terms of creating shareholder value. “We bring experience of change and best practice across many different industries and match it with the knowledge the client has of its own business and markets. The consultancy recently worked on a programme with a large retailer. But the company also introduced new ways of working and fresh product lines. “To do that.” notes Clark. “And that’s where engagement becomes very important.” he warns. the staff are more positive too. “You have to take people with you on a transformation journey. it helps a company engage its employees and lifts everyone’s performance to new levels.” Engaged employees – those who are willing to go that extra mile and challenge themselves to lift their performance – will be the key for all those companies that want to reap the fruits of Britain’s recovering economy. But the chairman of the company now sees an opportunity for growth. an award-winning management consultancy which specialises in business transformation.com “Unreasonable” results become reasonable when a company involves all its employees on its transformation journey. which has worked with dozens of companies to raise performance. That is because companies which seek these kinds of unreasonable results. wanting to be more successful isn’t enough. companies are faced with the opportunity to grow turnover and profits. a director at Boxwood. Besides the cash.” says Wilson. But that’s all changing.” he says. Yet some will find it difficult if their staff have become demoralised during the downturn. by ensuring that people have the right capabilities to do the job properly. Ambitious. along with processes and systems. “These are the staff who are not just sitting there doing their jobs. The second is about designing a future business model that delivers the vision and can be implemented in practice.” says Matt Clark. Sustainable change must start at the top – with the board of directors. Done well. it is difficult if not impossible to get other staff to change. And the third is about managing the change that needs to happen. . but they want to find new ways to drive growth and improve their profitability.what needs to be delivered to succeed.” says Clark. over time. If you don’t. That is certainly the case for the first of the FTSE 250 companies that wants to double its size. change the culture of the company as well. growing the company’s turnover or improving its profit. “You also need the ambition and the stomach for the big changes which are necessary to deliver transformational results. “That kind of unsettling change doesn’t do anything to promote positive employee engagement.” he says. Engagement is a key source of competitive advantage s the country moves out of recession.
If it’s not treated with that kind of respect then there won’t be any progress. he has to make sure that he meets up with the key talent be known that you do different things with the top talent. When the CEO turns up to a conference or other event in a different location. But the leadership need to own the dialogue and the delivery of talent management. but driven by challenge and real learning opportunities.if it doesn’t happen one week then it gets picked up and loses credibility. There needs to be a bi-monthly agenda item. to allow them to prove themselves and learn through the experienceThe most recent McKinsey survey of the Top 500 CEOs revealed that most of them said they learnt the most from doing the job and new development opportunities.com tel. An open process is appealing to high potentials. These people are crucial to the organisation and are best nurtured with standard hygiene factors. The danger for organisations is that they get left with the averages. then you will attract great people.an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group EmployEE EngagEmEnt_13 the talent war We talked to tim drake. you need to have these people involved. and the process of when and how. The last two years people have battened down the hatches. Head of Talent Management at Hudson Global Resources.hudson. because they haven’t got the oomph to move on and make plans. Q: do uK lEadERS havE thE aBIlIty to achIEvE thIS? A: There are three main things that will make you successful: learning ability.com/talentmanagement Q: hoW doES ouR attItudE to talEnt nEEd to changE In thIS countRy? A: We need to recognise great talent and the value it creates for us. If you are known for having great people. coaching and monitoring roles. while the CEO and leadership are preoccupied with the pressure from the stakeholders to focus on ROI and profit. For more information please contact: tim. how talent is being developed and what are the concrete next steps. they need to have the processes in place to make sure they keep the best talent. and security. such as financial reward. about how companies can make the most of their most valuable assets. Around all of this you can wrap ambition. have a coffee with them perhaps. high performers and high potentials. Q: hoW do you KnoW Who thE top talEnt aRE? A: The top talent is defined by two key groups. Successful organisations always have this stuff high on the board agenda. you find. Q: hoW do you BuIld thIS Into an oRganISatIon? A: The process also has to be open – it must . Also. Nothing can be done without knowing exactly which employees fall into these categories. When cuts are brought in. And if there’s a change project coming up. My challenge to CEOs and other leaders in any organisation is to view their great people as assets on the balance sheet. This will particularly affect the public sector. Q: doES thIS not RISK ExcludIng SomE EmployEES? A: To a certain extent. But then you need to find out if they have the potential to take the next step. but those excluded by it will be the average to poor employees. and that is an acceptable consequence of doing this. So the ongoing war for talent will come back and bite those companies that haven’t nurtured their most important people. This well get exacerbated as we come out of the recession. 0207 187 6077 www. It will be too late to introduce a talent strategy once the economy has stabilised. So you need to ask: do we have the right people to take the company forward? Where are we going. emotional intelligence and intellectual ability. When the CEO turns up to a conference or other event in a different location. These people won’t be so concerned with hygiene factors. High performers are generally a good cultural fit and perform consistently higher than most other employees. reporting on what has changed. and then there’s a lot of hand wringing and the HR department gets blamed unfairly. You have to start with the belief that talent delivers real value to the organisation. Q: So What do you do WhEn you’vE IdEntIFIEd youR top talEnt? A: You need to find out more about them. It’s always the average people who stay. people will always pick up on inconsistency . Great people will always be in demand are great at finding ways to move on. which is still getting to grips with talent management. Top talent is the only asset that will allow organisations to deliver on future ambitions and challenging business plans. They will learn much more quickly than their peers and relish the opportunity to prove themselves. It shouldn’t be done in secret. What is often lacking is the drive to be successful. and have we got the right people to get us there? Q: aREn’t moSt BuSInESSES too BuSy tRyIng to SuRvIvE to WoRRy aBout thIS? A: Talent management is crucial to survival. he has to make sure that he meets up with the key talent. It’s much more valuable than training courses. Top talent will always be pushing at the door.drake@hudson. Too often the HR department is charged with identifying and monitoring the talent. even though all the other elements are in place.uk. What really motivates them and what are their development needs and desires? What actually gets them out of bed each day? What do they want to achieve in the organisation? Then for the leadership it involves taking the time and effort to attend to those people. with handshakes behind closed doors. Concern often only arises when the great people leave. Only a small percentage of high performers are high potentials. not from formal training.
We have not just been through a financial recession.” Kenexa recommends that organisations should create a framework of skills (such as communicating. “Talent Engagement— the facts”. behaviours (such as being organised and acting in a way that’s consistent with the vision and values of the organisation) and attitudes (such as being respectful.uk. Developed and Inspired. two-way communication. ‘Engaging For Success’. lower absenteeism.ly/dzpQja. more information: “talent Engagement. Leaders might fear the challenge of Engagement but the latest evidence certainly suggests it is a major factor that companies would be foolish and shortsighted to ignore. Maynard Leigh. employees become more motivated to contribute to the organisation’s success and more willing to apply discretionary effort to accomplish tasks that are central to the goals of the organisation. Yet the recent government sponsored report. Their behaviour is consistent with the mission and values of the organisation. Holding the key to persuading people to go that extra mile and seeing a real improvement in profits is surely every chief executive’s dream? So when convincing research surfaces showing how to achieve such mouth watering results you might expect those at the top to grab on with both hands. andrew leigh is a founding director of maynard leigh associates (www. you can radically raise the level of employee engagement in your organisation. . open and encouraging) that managers need in order to be effective in their role.” For employees to feel Involved they need to be more than just informed. E the Middle East and Africa.maynardleigh. they need a certain kind of communication. According to Towers Watson only 31 per cent of employees feel their senior managers communicate openly and honestly.” Jackson says. If you want to improve organisational performance then raise your people’s level of engagement. the extent to which employees can improve their skills and whether the organisation demonstrates a genuine responsibility to its employees and its communities. at www. There are many practical actions that leaders and managers can do daily that steadily feed people’s need for inspiration. “When ‘effective management’ prevails. “Most employee engagement is based on feelings. which so many corporate leaders are trying to embrace. versus the 3 per cent of disengaged employees. managers and other stakeholders could not be clearer. Because the downturn made a lot of promises impossible to deliver. “Employees ‘feel’ engaged. Managing Director of Kenexa in Europe. Growing and developing is a natural human drive. These are also the essentials of people-centered leadership. A Towers Watson/ISR global survey found a persuasive 19. VIDI shows that for people to be fully engaged at work they need to be Valued.” says Stuart Mackenzie. and that relies to a large extent on the trust they have in the management’s promises. individual performance and behavioural change has brought us to VIDI (the Latin to see). but through a trust recession as well – and the latter will take longer to fix. trust has been affected. Employees need to understand their impact on the workplace. By making a concerted effort to improve the effectiveness of your managers. For your people to feel valued they need to experience being treated as individuals. Another study by the IES/Work foundation in 2008 reported an increase in profits per employee per year in companies that increase investment in a range of workplace practices that relate to engagement. greater employee retention. that portrays unequivocally the benefits of staff engagement. So is one of the barriers to leaders accepting the challenge of engagement a fear of not knowing what to do. “promoting the value of learning in adversity. and improved bottom-line results.uk). managing director. Inspiration at work is easily dismissed as fanciful because it is hard to measure and even harder to manage. how to unlock people’s potential” on line at: bit. evaluates employees’ performance fairly. It also means promoting good collaborative relationships as a way of enabling teams and individuals to perform at their best. respected and treated fairly. Over half of UK executives say they want inspiration from their leaders. quickly solves problems and practices open.maynardleigh. they provide opportunities for employees to improve their skills and they reassure employees that they have a promising future. Other factors that drive employee engagement are ‘exciting work’. co. continues to struggle to win over the skeptics. For over 20 years our work on company cultures. or how to do it? We have something to offer in that area. At work a focus on development can be a powerful way to engage and challenge people. cIpd publication top WoRK Why effective management is key to engagement mployees who work for an ‘effective manager’ have three-four times higher engagement levels than those who don’t. This framework should be used as a benchmark when recruiting managers. Involved. It should also form the basis of management development programmes and the organisation’s performance management and succession planning processes. according to a global study by HR solutions provider Kenexa. makes use of employees’ ideas. says: “Higher engagement levels mean higher productivity. superior service quality. more satisfied and loyal customers. a Fellow of the chartered Institute of personnel and development and author of a number of books on management. An effective manager is someone who keeps his/her commitments. 59 per cent of engaged employees say work brings out their most creative ideas.2 per cent improvement in operating income in companies with high levels of engagement. yet only 11 per cent say they get it. Andrew Jackson.co.14_EmployEE EngagEmEnt an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group the basics of performance Andrew Leigh explains why business leaders need straight forward terms of engagement T he message to leaders. giving feedback and problem solving). Unlocking potential creates the opportunities needed for your staff to shine.
“Our approach was to immerse ourselves in KFC’s business by effectively becoming temporary KFC employees. “Employees enjoy their jobs at KFC because of their colleagues and the supportive family-like atmosphere which exists at all levels. So how should a company go about identifying its EVP? Barras suggests you should start by taking the time to understand what makes your company. There is never a good time to stop thinking about your employees. ”Further workshops helped to refine and distill these findings into a key message that would embody what makes KFC unique. overarching mission: to improve business results by effectively managing and communicating change. Having a clear EVP is a vitally important part of a strong employer brand”. Not only that.” she says. In this way. ensuring your employer brand in turn aligns with your consumer and corporate brands is a recipe for even greater success and will really differentiate you in the marketplace. but they will only do that if they feel good about where they work. so that when you take on new recruits you know they will be a ‘good fit’. the company also recently received an accreditation as one of Britain’s Top Employers. Projects like these help to ensure that employees continue to be aware of the benefits and rewards available to them. it’s about building on existing strengths. The answers most likely already lie with your people. we were able to directly observe and experience employee life in KFC restaurants – we even attended a full induction and a enjoyed working a restaurant shift. consultant at employee engagement specialists Ketchum Pleon Change. not throwing out your existing values. Ketchum Pleon Change took advantage of the company’s iconic ‘secret recipe’ with a new employment tagline. “Too often companies assume they already know this. and a more consistent induction experience for new starters has been successfully implemented. which has so far seen over 200. This is only possible if what you are offering both existing and potential employees is unique and compelling. marketing. The way a company acts and behaves to communicate these messages to its employees can be captured in its Employee Value Proposition (EVP). we focus on a single. KPC took advantage of KFC’s iconic “secret recipe” with a new tagline.a new business created through the combination of Ketchum’s and Pleon’s Change and Transformation consulting businesses . HR. You just have to take the time to look for them. craft meaningful and responsive messages.ketchumpleonchange. and don’t bother actually asking their people. This creatively communicated the fact that employees felt it was the people and culture which make KFC so successful. with almost 800 restaurants in the UK and Ireland. explains. internal and external communications and HR. “Having an EVP which sits in opposition to existing values is confusing. and lowering turnover.com . employees and franchisee representatives that built on existing KFC culture and values. “But companies must also accept that they cannot be all things to all people.teuton@ketchumpleon. This would then form the basis of increasing staff loyalty and performance levels. In late 2008. mission and vision.000 applications. Given the dispersed nature of KFC’s employee base. “An EVP reflects the image an organisation wants to portray to current and prospective employees. such as the senior management team.an independent supplement produced by lyonsdown media group EmployEE EngagEmEnt_15 the secret of success If you want your employees to help drive your company forward. In the case of KFC. Greater staff engagement and stability helped to drive same store sales growth of 10% and turnover at all levels has been falling consistently. and reshape organisational behaviour to enable employees to remain focused on performance that helps businesses achieve their goals.” This immersion approach was reinforced with traditional research techniques such as desk research. you need to be clear about what you’re offering them. We create integrated communication strategies.helps organisations respond to today’s complex and challenging environment. which is crucial if they are to remain proud brand ambassadors for the company. interviews and surveys across a representative sample of the business. which will only happen if they know their employer cares about their career development. both internally to employees and externally from a brand perspective. A new intranet is currently being developed to improve communication across the organisation. while aligning the workplace and the marketplace. A strong employer brand and EVP will help attract those people that will thrive in your company. both emotionally and rationally. unique.” Barras says. popular restaurant chain KFC asked Ketchum Pleon Change to help them engage their employees. The task was to identify what people loved about working at KFC and translate the findings into a clearly articulated EVP. the task of ensuring that your most valuable assets are committed to your future is more important than ever. But as the economy picks up. You want your employees to delight your customers. and what you have to offer your employees. and companies think about how to move forward.” Fundamentally. “The Secret is You” the correct response Ketchum Pleon Change . At this stage Ketchum Pleon Change also developed practical recommendations with input from the management team. The data gathered was then sorted into categories and analysed against the stages of the employee lifecycle. “that way. a successful EVP should align with existing organisational values. it was important to reinforce the employee brand work with a number of additional projects. “The Secret is You”. retain and attract talent and promote KFC as an Employer of Choice.” says Barras. focus groups. To top it off. 2009 was a great year for KFC in the UK and Ireland. You also want them to contribute to the development of the company. but you want to be confident that your values and commitment are clearly communicated. Paul Teuton Director UK Ketchum Pleon change +44 (0) 207 611 3644 paul. the immersion phase quickly revealed what the KFC secret was – the people. As Barras says.” Crucial too is to have key stakeholders on board from the start.com www. The tagline has since been used most visibly on KFC’s new careers website (launched in early 2009). As Anna Barras. “Therefore we focused on enhancing this experience across all levels of the business and the entire employee lifecycle to make it an even better place to work.
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