Leadership and Staff Engagement

Sound leadership and staff engagement must involve encouraging accountability and this means unlearning old rules and culture and learning the new rules of trust.

A Suggestion Scheme – is this really about Staff Engagement?

The MD of a client manufacturing company was concerned that the new Staff Suggestions Scheme did not appear to be generating any ideas from staff as to improving the processes.

‘It’s as if they are not interested…’ the MD complained. He was right. Most staff suggestion schemes falter in the early stages.

The reasons usually centre on staff scepticism as to whether any suggestions will be acted upon. Equally important is that employee groups are rarely involved in developing and implementing improvement ideas.

So what should he do? Let me unfold the story of what we did, starting with trust, training and accountability.

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Engaging with feedback

The regular interactions between leaders and team members are what form the foundation for an engaging workplace and yet it is an area with room for improvement.

In our team we will soon receive our annual employee engagement survey results. This a regular exercise in many companies and one that sheds light on dynamics of team performance, culture and wellbeing.

It is however only providing a snapshot. A moment in time with limited scope for understanding nuance, personal differences and context. The feedback is highly important and the initial response rate also provides an interesting insight, yet this data must be used as part of a wider approach to engagement if we are to truly create aligned & high performing organisations.

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Stop washing fish!

Your engagement strategy isn’t working!

Your engagement strategy isn’t working…I don’t know what that strategy is, I just know it isn’t working!

Don’t take my word for it though. Google it.

The numbers vary depending on which article you read but the headlines are fairly similar – about 70% of the UK workforce feel disengaged, which is costing UK Plc about £70 billion a year.

If the number of disengaged employees is that high, then it’s not difficult to imagine that some of those people are in your business, or your office.

Let’s be honest, if I gave you a piece of paper you could name them.

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Can a Coachee NOT be Coached?

My first challenge took me to a realization that marked a huge difference for me as a Leadership Coach.

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Learning in the new millennial

 

So much written about Millennials suggests that they are turned off by the way generations before them have done things. As someone engaged in professional learning this interests me.

Millennials, it would seem, are more civic and community minded than their predecessors. Lacking the financial security from which their parents have benefitted they are not as interested in a career path as generations before them. Instead, meaningful work, creative outlets and immediate, interactive feedback mean a lot. One only needs to look at a random selection of start-ups  to see this behaviour in evidence.

What does this mean for those of us now who work in more traditional institutions, based on and run by baby boomers or Gen X-ers? It’s an important question because bigger and slower moving organisations still need to employ, engage and retain millennials.

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Employment Engagement – A Vicious or Virtuous Cycle?

Building a culture of engagement, although manager carries the most responsibility on it, it goes hand-in-hand irrespective of job level or title – be it a manager, director, president or a janitor. Everyone shares responsibility on the overall group engagement.

Employee Engagement – how do you go about it? Is it an annual event or integrated part of your culture?

Gallup recently published a report stating that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged.

 ‘Worldwide, the percentage of adults who work full time for an employer and are engaged at work — they are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace — is just 15%. Though engagement levels vary considerably by country and region, in no country does the proportion of the employed residents who are engaged in their job exceed about four in 10.’

It is undoubtedly a very alarming finding. So, who is responsible to raise Employee Engagement? The common answer is the manager. I do, however, agree about it partially. To me, it is a team effort. Everyone holds responsibility in it and following are my reasons.

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Leadership is a contact sport

Leadership is a contact sport. In 2017, more than ever before, as leaders let’s invest in our people through the time we spend with them and the effectiveness of that time we spend together.

I came across the statement forming the title of this post towards the end of 2016.  It is attributed to Marshall Goldsmith, who is an American leadership coach.  I have paired it with another quotation, which was made by President Eisenhower, “You don’t lead people by hitting them over the head.  That is assault, not leadership.”

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