EngagementMissing the trick with employee engagement

Missing the trick with employee engagement

With productivity sinking, HRD Connect takes a deep dive into finding the key to employee engagement.

As of late workplace productivity has proven to be a crucial hurdle for organisations to master, although many employers believe they have unlocked the winning strategy to achieve this research has found that many are missing a trick, and technology is not always the answer.


Work is constantly changing, new technologies, training programs, and onboarding experiences have made the work atmosphere all too different in an attempt to increase attraction, retention, and engagement, however with all of these new strategies there still lags a productivity puzzle that many organisations tend to struggle with.

However research from CBI has suggested that harnessing the power of people could be the key to achieving this goal.

“It’s not about people working harder and longer. It’s about getting the right kind of habits and behaviour into the DNA of a business and how it leads, develops and engages its staff to lift performance,” said Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director, CBI.

In CBI’s findings, they discovered that “Raising the average quality of people management in UK firms by just 7% has the potential to add a massive £110bn to the economy – similar in value to the UK’s construction sector.10 Improving how businesses lead, engage and develop their people is a core part of raising UK productivity. It matters because productivity growth is the only sustainable way to improve living standards”

Adjacent to increasing people management for companies, recognition and reward has also proven to be crucial in increasing engagement and productivity. “Recognition has become an essential tool for companies to use to engage with their employees. And it is no surprise since appreciation and recognition are fundamental human needs. When you recognise someone for doing a good job, they feel valued and that their actions have a larger impact on the team, the customer and the company.” said Alexandra Powell, Director of Client Services, Reward Gateway.

With technology transforming the work landscape it is still just as crucial to maintain and build the people within the business. “A business’ strength lies in its people. Supporting the future generation of workers with the right tools, development and programmes is fundamental in promoting fairness, inclusion and collaboration within any business. Leading by example, we have developed a secondary school outreach programme encouraging more girls to take up careers in STEM, and are also working with our suppliers to bring about a diverse and sustainable supply chain through our Supplier Engagement Committee.” said Chas Moloney, Marketing Director, Ricoh UK & Ireland, further enforcing the importance of people.

In addition to a companies culture being at the heart of a business in order to increase engagement, CBI broke down seven other aspects of ensuring that engagement is continually increasing. These included having effective leaders and effective management board in place, as 44% of businesses say that effective line management is the single most important driver of employee engagement. Recruiting high-level employees has also demonstrated that this can drive high performance and productivity especially in operational based roles.

Finally, Learning and Development could be an essential tool in driving further engagement internally. “Offering development opportunities for staff is vital for ensuring that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete the role they have been hired to do. But offering training and continual development will also help increase staff retention,” said Alex Wilkins, Head of Business Development at iHASCO.

He concluded “With the ever-growing presence of e-learning and distance learning helping to overcome time restraints and accessibility issues, there is no better time than now to ensure employees are trained and offered continual development. Interactive online courses can help SMEs become more agile in addressing current issues, such as giving staff the tools to manage their own wellbeing and increase stress resilience. Those who make the time to promote training opportunities to their workforce are simply more likely to retain their valuable members of staff.”

With such an agile work environment and the world of HR changing, it’s important for business leaders to grasp these new opportunities.

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“There’s no fixed path for deciding your People Strategy. It’s all about being open to what we hear, see, discuss and receive. Overall, feedback should be frequent and messaging should be consistent. Embrace open-mindedness, adopt products which enhance your strategy and plan for the future. Adopting a product which ties employee feedback and communication together is extremely valuable for People Team members. All-in-all, thoughtfully plan out your inclusive engagement strategy and also leave room for improvisation as opportunities arise. By embracing open communication, organisations can learn how to create efficiencies, bring their people closer together and empower their workforce to provide valuable feedback.” said Robert Hicks Group HR Director at Reward Gateway

You can’t force employee engagement, but your actions strongly influence it. You can create a culture and an environment where more and more individual employees choose to become engaged every day. Your actions enable individual employees to make the personal choice to connect and commit because they believe in you and what you are doing.

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