Are your people or your product the biggest asset to your company?
This year Lumesse attended the Employee Engagement Summit 2012 in London where this concept was explored thoroughly and top tips were given out.
According to the summit, the first pillar to successful employee engagement is to understand it and define it. Of course there are many different text book definitions so which one do you choose? Well, the answer is to create an answer that fits around you. Each company is different, with different people and therefore each answer should be different. By defining engagement for your company at the start of the process you then have a true understanding of what you want at the end. After all, if you can't define employer engagement then how can you measure it?
A recurring comment was the importance for people's need to feel acknowledged and know they are being listened to. The Co-Operative held a campaign called talkback where the staff would talk to the managers and gain a ‘you said we did' sticker when action took place around it. The stickers acted as a visual reminder that they have been listened to and their opinion matters. This resulted in 10 out of 11 people improving on their employer engagement. This idea may seem simple and basic but sometimes people just need a little touch of TLC.
Jeremy Langley, our Marketing and Business Development Director, also highlighted this point when discussing the importance of people within a rebrand. He suggested from his experience that a brand can only be a summary of the quality of the people you employ. Your brand equals your reputation and experience therefore; employees need to be part of the process of defining a brand because they become the brand.
A surprising revelation was the concept that although people are seen as the greatest asset, the line managers are seen as the greatest liability. This forced people to question whether their managers are qualified in people management. Do they know how to motivate people? If not it was suggested that a simple course could solve this problem. After all managers need to be engaged in order to engage others.
So what actions should you consider for the future? According to the summit there needs to be more emphasis on self-responsibility. If staff can discover their own opportunities and play to their strengths, then they will over perform. Peer feedback was also said to have the biggest impact on engagement so create discussion and listen. Make surveys easy to take part in in order to build a picture of an employee lifecycle from different perspectives. Then make sure problems you have worked hard for actually get addressed and do it as quickly as possible.
But if you can't remember them then just remember these 6 engagement essentials that the Co-Op recommended:
It is not just about pay anymore but about the culture of a business and engagement of a company. The real people that make it happen are on the ground so it is time to pay them some attention. Products are not the differentiator anymore...people are.