First of all, I am not asking anyone to marry me in case you were wondering, this is about a different type of engagement…..!
The past few years have been really tough with the threat and reality of redundancy, the pressure to perform and deliver with reduced resources and the need to make sure the fees are coming in and Clients are happy. The reality is, there have been some changes in our behaviours as a result of our experiences and even though we are keeping our heads down, we may not be as ‘engaged’ as we once were. Does this resonate with you and your organisation?
According to the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) employee engagement can be seen as a combination of commitment to the organisation and its values and a willingness to help out colleagues. It goes beyond job satisfaction and is not simply motivation. Engagement is something the employee has to offer: it cannot be ‘required’ as part of the employment contract.
Did you know that the On March 29th, 2011, the Prime Minister gave his backing to a new independent Employee Engagement Task Force?
The Task Force has spearheaded a movement called Engage for Success http://www.engageforsuccess.org/ that brings together the experience of leading practitioners, the ideas and research of leading academics, and the findings of think tanks, to share learning, ideas and practical guidance on ‘the what, the why and the how’ of employee engagement. It builds on the report ‘Engaging for Success ‘ which was produced in 2009 for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The above link also has a really good video called ‘Get Engaged’ which co-incidentally I had no idea about when I was thinking of a title for my blog!
The following press release from the CIPD introduces their research paper entitled, ‘Managing for sustainable employee engagement: Developing a behavioural framework’ which pinpoints how managers need to behave to get the best out of people, by both engaging employees and preventing and managing stress. It also talks about some of the behaviours that managers can have in the workplace which may or may not sound familiar.
So how do we get engaged? Well, you could first of all have a look at the following website:-
Alternatively the Engage For Success website talks about Four Enablers (the following is an abstract from the website):-
Visible, empowering leadership providing a strong strategic narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going.
Engaging managers who focus their people and give them scope, treat their people as individuals and coach and stretch their people.
There is employee voice throughout the organisations, for reinforcing and challenging views, between functions and externally, employees are seen as central to the solution.
There is organisational integrity – the values on the wall are reflected in day to day behaviours. There is no ‘say –do’ gap
These enablers are very much focussed on what the organisation can do but what about what we can do? It’s easy to blame it on the management but we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our thinking. Part of this, I believe is about taking control of how we feel and react to situations and also trying to see the bigger picture and putting ourselves into the shoes of the manager to understand why they may be thinking, feeling and reacting in a certain way.
The fourth enabler talks about organisational integrity and values, but how often do we think about what our values actually are and that part of the reason we may be reacting a certain way is that we are doing something that conflicts with these values?
Finally, (if you are still engaged in reading this blog?!) we often talk about a ‘top down’ approach to change in organisations. What I would suggest is required to really get engaged is a ‘top down/down up’ approach where managers look at their behaviours and employees look at theirs to think about why they aren’t engaged in the first place and what changes they need to make to Get Engaged.