Blogs

Derek Bishop

Director

Engagement – it’s time to get real

Date added: 24th Jan 2017
Category: Employee Engagement

Why your employee engagement efforts are not making a blind bit of difference

Right! I think we are far enough into January that we can stop living in the glow of a New Year resolution well made and start getting real. And the reality is that if your organisation is going to survive the year unscathed then it will be down to one factor and one factor only, your people.

Yes I know all about markets and infrastructure and products but the bottom line is that what differentiates business success from simply getting by, or even failure, is the way in which your people take up the challenge. As leaders we can draw up budgets and forecasts and design elaborate plans as much as we like but unless we put the people factor at the top of our list then the outcome is at best going to be less than we hoped for.

So how are we going to maximise that fantastic resource which our people bring to the table? Do we undertake a cultural overhaul which puts innovation or sustainability or customer excellence at its heart? Do we look to improve diversity, bringing in a wealth of experience, abilities and backgrounds in order to enrich our offerings? Or perhaps we take up one or more of the myriad offers which one expert or another tells us are designed to improve the employee experience; redesigning offices, installing pool tables and funky chairs, offering benefits (some of which are going to be taxed shortly anyway) and so on.

Well we can do all of that, or none of that, and it won’t make a blind bit of difference unless we step out of the ‘doing things’ zone and into a mindset which puts people at its heart. Let’s take this into the real world. Giving someone a present, no matter how elaborate or expensive, isn’t automatically going to make them like you, especially if that present comes with a string of conditions and demands. And you can tell people to value this and behave like that until you are blue in the face but all you’re trying to do is control and bully them unless you can find a way to speak to their hearts.

Survey after survey is showing how employee engagement efforts are working and it’s no wonder when you consider that the majority of them look to impose rather than to open up individual potential. “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength” said Maya Angelou. So let’s make 2017 the year when we stop trying to do things to people and start working with them to make the most their own unique talents. Only then will we get true engagement.

 

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