This week I had the pleasure of attending the Engaging for Growth 2011 Forum, organised by The Focus Group and hosted by KPMG. I say “pleasure” quite sincerely, as someone who has been to plenty of events that promise much and deliver little. This time my expectations were exceeded, and not just because they have become jaded.
Speakers covered a range of topics broadly relating to Employee Engagement, Organisational Effectiveness and EVP; and included David MacLeod, author of the MacLeod Report, and Dr Martin Reddington providing the ‘expert’ view as well shared experiences from Virgin Active, Unilever, O2, KPMG and Metro Bank among others. Change was a theme running through much of the event, for clearly such issues come to the fore when an organisation needs to mobilise its employees!
For me there were a number of key themes arising:
- Don’t get hung up on the constructs out there that overlap and as a result can appear to muddy the waters (e.g. employee engagement versus EVP versus culture)
- It’s not rocket science. Although people can be complex, they also respond to simple things like trust, recognition, honesty…
- Don’t over-rely on your employee survey. It’s useful as a marker of progress but look beyond it and use it as a stimulus for further discussion (about things that it doesn’t measure, as well as things that it does)
- Don’t treat employee engagement as a peripheral activity (that’s about improving your survey score). It’s about matching your lived values to your corporate values, making clear your ‘deal’, and it should run through all that you do, such as how you make real decisions