Guest Blog by Pam Warren, International Speaker, Leadership Trainer and Author specialising in Change & Disruption: www.pamwarren.co.uk/
Staff appraisal forms or appraisal interviews are one thing however they often concentrate on job or role specific areas. Many such reviews also take the form of surveys and statistical analysis which are not encouraging for employees toe xpress what they truly think. The more fundamental questions that employers and HR should be asking their workforce are more akin to: Do they enjoy what they do currently? Are they happy in their work? Are they engaged with their employer?
It is these types of questions that leads to the most enlightening of insights into the morale and commitment of employees and can help greatly when devising ways to retain excellent staff for the organisation.
Too often employers are under the impression that their staff are generally content and enjoy working for them. Once the doors are closed and the managers gone, the actual story is quite different! It has to be an imperative to discover what the real story is as it is not always about the money.
Employee engagement – the statistics
A recent Gallup Employee Engagement survey makes for some alarming reading with the UK showing only 11% engaged employees. A staggering 68% are not engaged and 21%are actively disengaged. Though I don’t accumulate statistics myself I was unsurprised by Gallup’s findings as they reflected the general trends and attitudes I encounter in my work.
“85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged in their job.”
Staff expertise and retention should be one of the most important considerations for a good employer who has their eye trained on the future. With happy, fulfilled employees productivity naturally increases and drives innovation forward.
So what are some of the basic things that employees are looking for in their occupations?
Another source I’ve been looking at is Staffcircle.com which is quoting that 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work.
Employee engagement is increased when development of staff is a priority
Development, I would have thought, seems an obvious key element however it does seem to be overlooked by and large. Being able to bring your employees on, help them develop their skills and empower them to improve and evolve within their role – even if that might mean that they outgrow their current position – is another fundamental that every employer should adopt.
And it’s not just training and development in terms of the company processes that is vital but also allowing your employees to test their boundaries. Encouraging them to explore, experiment and come up with their own ideas as to where they might like to develop. They do their job everyday, they are the experts in how their role works and how it could potentially be done better so why not harness that knowledge?
Not every route they take will be a success however some of the most creative and innovative ideas come from removing boundaries and allowing responsible freedom to flow. As I’ve always said it is better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.
Yes, every which way we turn we hear that change is all around us, that change is the new normal, that we have to adapt to change or fail. However, how many organisations truly embrace this concept? Not that many in my experience and staff engagement should be a priority.
If you’re looking for greater output and creativity it only takes one leader within an organisation to realise and act upon employee enrichment within the workplace for things to transform for the future and productivity to escalate. If you can easily enhance and improve what you have already it seems nonsensical not to do so.
Begin by asking the right questions to inform you how to empower your employees without falling into the trap of surveys and statistics.