4th Mar 2016
According to David MacLeod, co-chair of Engage for Success, when times are tough, organisations need to do four things to grow. They must give fantastic customer service; come up with new forms of competitive advantage for their goods or services; find ways to be more efficient; and enter new markets.
As MacLeod points out, it is employees who underpin these strategies ¬and who are therefore vital to growth. “Whether, as an employee, you are offering the most of your capability and potential or not, is a massive determinant of whether you do those four things,” he explains. But how do you encourage your people to go the extra mile?
“There’s no golden bullet when it comes to engagement,” says MacLeod. “But there are certainly some important principles that need to be in place if engagement is to improve.” These values are what MacLeod refers to as the ‘four enablers’ – without which employee engagement is a non-starter.
Firstly, businesses need to enforce a clear strategic narrative that people can hold in their minds. This is leadership through a strategic narrative or business story that explains where your business is going and why – helping employees understand how their role fits in.
Then businesses need to engage managers who motivate, challenge and support employees, treat them as individuals and seek and respond to their views. This is the second key to employee engagement.
The third is creating an effective employee voice, one that management listens to, consults and involves in decision-making. Workers know better than anyone how the firm they work for can grow, innovate and succeed.
The fourth is integrity with employee engagement, which means walking the talk and practising what you preach. There should not be a gap between what the people in your business say and what they do.
For more information about enhancing communication and engagement within your organisation, please see the Institute of Customer Service’s Leading by Example report, which you can download here.