Employee Engagement Yvonne White BA (Public Mgt.), MBS, FCIPD, MPRII, M. Inst. D email@example.com
Outline • What it is • Why it is important • Impact on performance • But...my experience • Organisational prisoners • Engaging top performers • Options to improve engagement • Country Studies –UK, Luxembourg, and others • Further Reading • Questions?
Staff Engagement 1 • Aon Hewitt “Trends in Global Engagement” May 2013 • Survey representing 2.1 million employees world-wide • 42% of employees are somewhat, or completely, disengaged
Staff Engagement 2 • Key questions: • Are we doing the right things to ensure that we have capable, focused, committed people, taking the right actions to achieve organisational performance? • What do employees need to be engaged?
Why is engagement important? • My experience: • Prison Service, Prime Minister’s Office, ComReg. • environment of uncertainty and cost containment – trust and connection weakened in many companies • traditional engagement drivers such as rewards, job security, development opportunities and work-life balance negatively impacted by the recession • Engagement: high performance culture = involvement and engagement. Intention to stay and invest in discretionary effort. Pipeline of critical talent.
Theory • “If you facilitate the steady progress of subordinates in meaningful work, make that progress salient to them and treat them well, they will experience the emotions, motivations and perceptions necessary for great performance. Their superior work will contribute to organisational success. And here’s the beauty of it: they will love their jobs.” -- HBR May 2011 Amabile and Kramer.
But.... • Is engagement something leaders are doing to others to get more out of staff? Self-serving? Or is fairness/trust the cornerstone to a decent workplace? Is it in everyone’s interests to maximise potential of all our people? • Whose job is it to engage staff –HR? Line managers? Top managers? Staff themselves? Government? • Do people join organisations and leave managers? • 70,000 employees surveyed. Top management initiatives have most effect on motivation and intent to stay. (Basford, Offermann, Wirtz May 2012 Journal of Leadership and Organisation Studies).
But... • A minority of employees are likely to resist becoming engaged. • Employee’s sense of engagement is not always focused on the employer-for example solidarity with profession can influence workplace attitudes. • Additional recession risks – presenteeism, working out of fear, burnout, conflict, failing to keep pace with developments. Turnover down but organisational prisoners?
High Potentials • Don’t assume they are highly engaged (HBR May 2010) • 1:3 admits to not putting all effort into job • 1:4 believes he will be working for another employer in a year • 1:5 believes personal aspirations differ from orgs plans for them • 70% of high performers lack what it takes for future success, though they can win now (skills, engagement, aspiration)
Engaging Top Performers • Opportunities to advance • Most engaged when guided by organisation vision, values, strategy –top team lead by example • Ethics-personal achievement, growth, greater purpose, act with integrity • Leadership – organisation well managed, management style encourages employees to give of their best • Ability of organisation to compete: resources, fast decisions, prioritise work, organisational support
Therefore... • Communicate and model clear vision and values • Seek opinions on improving competition e.g. Innovation and involve in solutions • Provide support and resources • Improve manage capability including people management skills • Emphasise career progression and personal growth.
Options to improve overall employee engagement • Measure employee attitudes to inform priority actions –and act. Understand and focus on what is most important to employees – orgs rely on commitment. Prioritise engagement actions to avoid distractions, wasted effort. • Focus on identifying and retaining top talent (at all levels) who will drive business success –plan for their retention. • Spend pay pot wisely –target high performance, deal with anomalies, ensure performance infrastructure is robust enough to differentiate appropriately, communicate value of benefits.
Options to improve engagement 2 • Recognise and reward exceptional performance beyond pay – recognition programmes, career development opportunities, performance conversations, mentoring opportunities. • Enable people to perform well • Fair pay, conditions, management processes, skilled ethical leaders • Autonomy, support, coaching, feedback • Opportunity to use skills, develop job and learn, quality work and variety are important. Lack of role clarity can lead to inefficiency and frustration, Resources, workloads.
Options to improve engagement 3 • Re-engage with staff-especially if damage done to community spirit. Provide opportunities to feed views upwards and for managers to listen. Keep informed. • Lateral communications too. Proactive management and communication of employee value proposition –role of line managers. • Show org. is concerned for health, well-being, work-life balance. Culture of mutual respect –dignity, value differences, involve in decisions, team, common goals.
National Results: UK • UK 2011 survey (N. Murphy (2011) Employee Engagement Survey 2011: increased awareness but falling levels. IRS Employment Review 28 November. 12 pp) • More women than men are engaged with their work • Younger workers are less engaged than older workers • Managers are more engaged than non-managers • Those on flexible contracts are more engaged than those who are not • Private sector employees are more engaged affectively-feeling positive about doing a good job- while public sector workers show higher levels of social and intellectual engagement –thinking hard about how to do job better and actively taking opportunities to discuss work-related improvements with others at work. • In 2013 voluntary sector are most engaged: purpose, honesty, trust.
National Results UK 2013 • Published May 2013: 2012 Skills and Employment Survey • UK worker insecurity at 20 year high • For first time, public sector more worried than private sector about losing jobs and status • Working harder, faster, to tighter deadlines, especially for women, due to tech change not downsizing. More content when involved in decisions. Control. • CIPD /Halogen Outlook October 2013: After years of stagnation talent is on the move again; 1 in 4 seeking new opportunities. Progression opportunities; engagement levels; performance management; less recruitment freezes.
Luxembourg Results 2012: 1,065 executive employees surveyed • How your organisation in Luxembourg shows respect for its employees is the number one retention driver for your professional talent. • Diversity of Luxembourg workforce more important to junior executives and a more potent retention element for females. • Having impressive offices is the lowest ranking talent attraction and retention initiative of 58.
Luxembourg Results 2012 – Part 2 • Reputation of your senior leadership team is a key retention factor for your functional Heads. • Your leadership team remaining calm under pressure is an important aspect in decision to stay for employees at all levels. • For all functions, but for HR in particular, the person to whom your executives report is highly influential in retention.
Luxembourg Results –Part 3 • Your org’s approach to ethics is of significantly higher retention value to female talent. Approach to environmental and corporate social responsibilities has a higher retention value to low and midlevel employees. • Employees and candidates for Director roles see org’s rate of growth as being of high importance when engaging with your company. • 5 females to each male in HR in Luxembourg –retain their talent through a culture of intrapreneurship, your informal working environment and your org’s reputation with your customers.
Luxembourg Results-Part 4 • Knowledge workers, living outside Duchy often, multilingual, highly educated, mobile = retention an issue. • Overall salary is the number one retention factor, and how the organisation shows respect for its employees is the number one determinant of their decision to stay.. • Being able to make a connection between role content and personal interests is the top factor under the heading internal perspective of the organisation, including person’s own role. • Employee recognition and the person to whom the respondent reports are joint second. • Quality of an organisation’s talent is key.
Global Drivers: Aon Hewitt 2013 • Career Opportunities • Reputation • Communications and performance management • Pay
Across Europe: Aon Hewitt 2013 • Top 5 drivers: career opportunities; organisational reputation; open to new ideas, communication, recognition • Yet, less than half of employees surveyed felt they had advancement opportunities • Substantial differences in engagement by generation: Millennials (1979 on) want higher and more individual rewards • Influence of pay has risen: impact of cutbacks. Employees more mercenary when job opportunities open up for higher pay? • Reduced retirement security and changing demographics may be eroding company loyalty.
Last Thoughts 1 • Engagement differs by individual, team, company, sector, country so find out what are key drivers in your company, then focus on the most important • Connect why working with you creates value and back with rewards and work experience that are difficult to replicate. Man on the moon? Communicate consistently at all levels. • Recognise extra efforts – no cost!
Last Thoughts 2 • Careers matter: Line managers need to communicate clear career paths, lateral growth opportunities and prepare for next step • Manage performance: what employees should be engaged in • Get the basics right: Fair pay, a sense of enjoyment/achievement; safety; diversity • Future Trend: Recruiting employees predisposed to engagement (positive, conscientious) and managers with skills to engage teams. For now: build a culture of engagement, embed and hold people accountable for it.
Further reading? • “Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking.” Robertson-Smith and Markwick. (2009). Institute for Employment Studies. • “The power of small wins.” Amabile and Kramer (May 2011). HBR. • “Engaged –unleashing your organisation’s potential through employee engagement” Holbeche, Matthews. (April 2012) Wiley. • “Considering the source: the impact of leadership level on follower motivation and intent to stay” . Basford, Offermann, Wirtz . (May 2012) Journal of Leadership and Organisation Studies. • “Emotional or transactional engagement-does it matter?” CIPD (May 2012) • “How to keep your most talented people –what matters in your employee retention –Luxembourg Report” . (June 2012) HRM Recruit. • “ 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement”. (May 2012) Aon Hewitt. • “Trust: the key to building well-being and performance in the workplace”. CIPD (Susanne Jacobs) & Unum (July, 2013) (see next slide).
Learn and Challenge Significance and Position Fairness Belong and Connect Purpose Voice and Recognition Security and Certainty Choice and Autonomy Supportive Workplace+ Resilience/Wellbeing