Engaging our employees – is it just too hard?

There are some pretty clever people out there doing some interesting analysis on the drivers of engagement, and the company levers. That is, what do you need to “pull” in order to maximise engagement in your company? It’s all interesting stuff; and lots of consultants will talk to you about regression analysis and other aspects of data analysis..  Organisations continue to spend significant sums on both the analysis, and then the implementation of strategies around the “levers”. And in many instances, they don’t see tangible improvements to business performance, turnover etc.

As with most things, I think we can achieve a great deal by going back to basics and by doing them really well before moving on to more sophisticaed appraoches. In that light, I read a great HR Daily blog article on engagement that had this to say: ” In today’s culture it is almost impossible to not think about how you eat. Every day we are bombarded with the latest diet fad – hi-fat, low-carb, no-dairy, caveman diets, lemon juice detoxes and so on. There is even the sleeping beauty diet, which recommends sleep instead of eating to reduce those unwanted kilos!  As we all know the best approach is the most basic, eating in sensible moderation along with a reasonable amount of exercise. Simple, but by no means easy.  It turns out that achieving the holy grail of effective human capital management, employee engagement, is the same. It’s all about some simple, common sense approaches..”  

She goes on to say: “Their report “Your pathway to improving employee engagement,” concluded that best practice in employee engagement comes down to three factors:

  • Doing it every day
  • Making it every manager’s job
  • Sticking to the basics and avoiding an overreliance on process and systems..”

Hmm.. Nothing too earth shattering there. So, why is is so simple? And yet, so hard?

We talked about some of these things a few months ago, when we talked about the art of listening, and how that can yield such powerful results in engagement.

There’s a simple model that illustrates how to start with some of this:

Listen (to what your employees are telling you)

Engage (with what’s important to them and what will make a difference to the business)

Act (don’t just talk about it, do something about it)

Deliver (what you say you’re going to do, or at least say why you can’t)

What do you think?  Have you seen simple approaches that yield powerful, tangible business results? Or is it just all too hard?

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Tammy Tansley
I am a coffee loving, energetic human who loves words, bright colours and spots, silly t'shirts and good champagne. Mum to two beautiful mischiefs. Long time wanderer around the world. Author. Blogger. Speaker.
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