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7 Key Steps to Staff Engagement: Part 1

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In an unstable economy full of double-dips and austerity, many businesses are slowly realising the importance of staff engagement.

Employee engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organisation that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work.

Engagement is broken into three groups in today’s workplace:

  1. Engaged employees are those who work with passion and are connected to their company.
  2. Not-engaged employees are those that are doing the bare minimum to get by.
  3. Actively disengaged employees demonstrate their unhappiness and undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.

There have been lots of recent surveys regarding just how engaged staff are in their workplace and how this is intrinsically linked to productivity and retention.  And according to these myriad surveys, as many as 70% of staff in the UK are currently not engaged or are entirely disengaged with the business they work for.

Below are first 3 key steps you can implement to ensure that staff engagement is maintained, the 2nd part can found by clicking the link at the foot of this blog.


Staff Engagement: 1.  Listen to your team

They know what’s contributing to the low engagement and have good ideas about how to fix it. They just need to be asked – in the right way. I’m not talking about having your communications or human resources professionals run employee focus groups.

For interviews with employees about a sensitive subject such as engagement, you need an outside consultant that employees feel they can trust to preserve their confidentiality. After all, how honest would you be about your intent-to-stay at your organization if you knew the interviewer represented the company?

You need a skilled interviewer who knows how to help employees speak openly while obtaining the input you need to move the business forward. In fact, our clients find that the benefits of the interviews begin as soon as discussions are being scheduled.  Again and again we hear, “I’m impressed that they’ve hired you to talk with us.  That tells me they do care.”

Of course, the interviews alone won’t suffice. It’s critical to acknowledge and follow up on identified issues. Failure to do so could lower morale even further.


Staff Engagement: 2. Get rid of the blame culture

As you seek to understand why employees are feeling so negative, you may learn about people and actions that make you angry and upset. Resist the temptation to confront individuals about specific events. That kind of confrontation will lead to a backlash of blame that will only make employees reticent about speaking up in the future.

Instead, focus on what about your culture or system is spawning negative behavior. Address the cause to enable improvement.


Staff Engagement: 3. Do not read surveys

Your company is unique – with its own culture, strategy and goals. If your employee survey results indicate a pattern of low satisfaction levels, you know there is a need for improvement. Being five percent lower than the benchmark or seven percent higher doesn’t change that.

If 60% of your employees indicate that they intend to stay with your company and the benchmark is 52%, should you breath easily? If you do, you may miss an opportunity to reach an even higher level of engagement.

More important than any benchmark comparisons are considerations of recent events within your company and industry. Have you just laid off 10% of your workforce?

Is your industry facing a tremendous increase in global competition? If so, it would be unrealistic to expect employee attitudes to have improved during the past year and it’s not particularly helpful to compare your company to other organizations and industries in vastly different situations.


Thanks for reading and should you require any further help finding that next big move, or if you are looking to recruit,  don’t hesitate to get in touch with me here, or you can join the LinkedIn Response Knowledge Network here.

Otherwise feel free to get in touch with me personally, via Twitter or LinkedIn using the links below.


Category: Client, Human Resources, interviews, Recruitment

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1 Comment »
  1. avatar

    […] week I looked at the first 3 key steps you could take to better engage your workforce.  These included how listening to your team, banishing the blame culture and not reading too much […]

    Pingback by 7 Key Steps to Staff Engagement - Part 2 — October 16, 2012 @ 11:25 am

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