Employee engagement schemes set for a boost, research reveals

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Written by Seun Robert-Edomi on 8 August 2014 in News
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The survey found that 48 per cent of overall respondents say they intend to broaden their employee engagement programmes. Right Management’s report argues that now is a critical time for organisations not just to identify what drives engagement, but to find ways to actively solicit, and take action on employee suggestions

More than half (53 per cent) of UK organisations plan to broaden their employee engagement programmes in order to maximise their investment in talent initiatives, according to Talent Management: Accelerating Business Performance, a global survey by Right Management, the talent management experts.

The survey found that 48 per cent of overall respondents say they intend to broaden their employee engagement programmes. This figure rose to 53 per cent in the UK and as high as 85 per cent in China and Hong Kong as a result of aggressive labour market growth.

Right Management’s report argues that now is a critical time for organisations not just to identify what drives engagement, but to find ways to actively solicit, and take action on employee suggestions.

Ian Symes, general manager for Right Management UK & Ireland, said: “While many organisations are finally recognising the value of employee engagement strategies, there’s still a temptation to treat them as a temporary fix.

“Organisations need to embrace employee engagement as an ongoing mind-set, not a programme that starts and stops when morale is low. They need to be thinking of a holistic approach that sees them listen to their workforce, engage with them on a regular basis, actively take on board employee feedback, and ultimately measure the results that these efforts have on business objectives and the bottom-line.”

The findings are supported by a further global survey from Right Management which identified that the majority of managers (56 per cent) think that their organisation’s employee engagement efforts fell short in driving bottom-line business objectives. Worse still, the same survey identified that that four in five employees had stated their intention to seek employment elsewhere.

“Our research highlights that businesses are starting to wake up to the fact that employee dissatisfaction has a ripple effect that can disrupt productivity, damage morale and ultimately see talent exit the business. What they are less clear about though is how to instil lasting change and structure in the face of ‘flux’ caused by global factors.

“In these ever-changing times, it’s more important than ever that businesses put their people first. Employee engagement strategies play a vital role in creating a structure for lasting change and stemming the tide of attrition that so many businesses are facing,” Symes concluded.

Right Management has the following advice for businesses looking to expand their employee engagement schemes:

  1. DEFINE: Define the right questions your organisation needs to answer to shape its workforce strategy. Focus on workforce priorities that are critical rather than trying to do everything at once. Take time to identify the right engagement metrics as these can go a long way towards helping your organisation to think more strategically about workforce needs.
  2. LISTEN – You need to do more than just ask the right questions. Business leaders need to demonstrate that they are open to feedback and ready and able to respond effectively. Creating communication channels is an important step in active listening and critical for setting the tone for how metrics will be used. The insights gained may not be perfect, but they could be all that is needed to tackle pressing issues.
  3. ENGAGE – Enlisting business leaders and employees - especially key talent – will deepen the overall workforce’s commitment and enhance employee programmes and processes. Remember the engagement must be two-way so as well as actively listening, organisations need to feedback to their employees how their contributions will impact the business. Companies will never get the right results if their attempts to improve employee engagement start and end with a survey; maintain momentum and find regular opportunities to engage.

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