The Engagement Question CEO’s and HR Director’s found difficult to answer.

​I've just completed a round of interviews with CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and HR Directors from FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 listed companies across Finance, Media, Logistics , Retail and Hospitality.

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Mar 25, 2016
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The Engagement Question CEO’s and HR Director’s found difficult to answer.

I've just completed a round of interviews with CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and HR Directors from FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 listed companies across Finance, Media, Logistics , Retail and Hospitality.

My aim was to gather views on ‘people engagement’ and whether they consider it as a driver for their business success and growth.

According to Gallup, 83% of employees say they’re not engaged (or actively disengaged) at work which is costing the global economy and its companies billions.

Business leader and bestselling author Jack Welch’s made his first 2016 Linkedin post all about the importance of improving employee engagement and explaining to leaders its the quickest way to achieve results in both customer satisfaction and cash flow.

With so much evidence promoting employee engagement as the driver of business and economic growth, why isn’t it top of the board room agenda?

Explanations from my discussions concluded that engagement was being overcomplicated' it had too many definitions, lots of ‘initiatives’ and not enough bottom line measurement.

What I believe might help business leaders is a clear strategic and realistic approach to people engagement and here’s three ways to start;

1. Get the people promise right.
The people promise covers your mission, values, leadership, culture, benefits, progression and other variables. It’s your ‘purpose’ that needs to be compelling, relevant and exciting for your people and should evolve and grow as you do. If you want some real hard evidence to support this I'd read GROW by Jim Stengel which follows a 10 year study.

2. Now do it.
Communicate, recruit and live your values show how your people deliver your purpose, the roles they play and what’s in it for them. Treat them as adults which means consult, listen, respect and learn from them.

3. Trust and support your people to get on with it.
This covers making sure your people have relevant learning and development and feel empowered to get the job done. Always provide feedback and recognition when the job is done well, as Simon Sinek says “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected”.

So what was the question that really tested CEO’s and HRD’s alike?......

....Surprisingly it was the one I naively thought easiest to answer, it was simply;

If you had a blank cheque what would you do to improve engagement in your organisation?

So why do you think they found this the hardest question to answer?

How would you answer the question?...... Let's engage, share and chat about it here.

Go to the profile of Damian McAlonan

Damian McAlonan

Managing Partner , The Boost Partnership

Damian is a multi-award winning communications professional with more than two decades experience in commercial strategy and advertising roles. He’s held senior managerial and board executive roles at Express Newspapers, United News & Media, WFCA Plc, EMAP and AOL Time Warner. Before becoming Managing Partner of The Boost Partnership he specialised in ‘people engagement’ as Business Advisor for a leading CIPD HR consultancy in the UK. What distinguishes Damian in the field of ‘learning and development’ is his passion for keeping things simple and providing clear explanations for what motivates and drives effective change in people. Damian currently helps a select group of clients uncover how to create their own people strategy that enables them to provide a more productive, engaging and great place to work. He is a contributor to specialist HR, Leadership and Business Management press and Business Mentor for His Royal Highness the Duke of York’s ‘Enterprise Unit’.

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