Publications - Published 24th December 2015

How To Achieve High Employee Engagement

We all like to think we are good employers and people managers who care about the wellbeing of our staff. Having spent over 20 years advising on staffing issues, I can confirm that business owners spend a disproportionate amount of time managing employees’ needs and balancing those against the needs of the business.

So with all that time, thought and effort going into keeping employees happy, why do some organisations have motivated, engaged staff while others struggle to muster enthusiasm for anything other than Friday afternoon’s stampede home.

Successful organisation do some things differently. Here are my seven characteristics of highly engaged organisations, which are shared regardless of the business’ age, size or industry sector.

1. Strong leadership

Policy and decisions are applied consistently, even if it means making tough decisions. People know what is happening, why and where they stand.

2. Frequent and open communication

As well as being decisive, leaders communicate openly and frequently with all staff. Business strategy is not a secret – everyone knows what is required. They also listen to their staff, making communication a two-way process so that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

3. Clearly defined job roles and organisational structure

This not only ensures that people work efficiently, but clear expectations and parameters also empower employees to operate up to their limits of responsibility rather then being too cautious. This in turn has a positive psychological effect.

4. Effective performance management systems

These businesses quickly identify under performance and deal with it appropriately. Objectives are linked to corporate strategy and measures of performance are clear, visible and discussed often.

5. Targeted reward scheme

Too many reward schemes fail to deliver. Paying people appropriately, without them having to ask or fight for more money, builds trust and commitment.

6. Effective recruitment processes

As well as being able to secure the best candidates on the market, these organisations realise that recruitment does not end when someone signs an employment contract. Induction programmes immerse new recruits into the company ethos and help them to support the brand.

7. Relevant job specific training and development

Training and development is inherently linked with the appraisal process and business strategy. Engaged organisations see training and development as a strategic investment that must be monitored and managed like any other.

Any organisations trying to increase employee engagement must make sure that the basics are in place before embarking on an employee engagement project. Fixing these elements will bring direct benefits, not only on how employees feel but also on business performance.

For further information please contact Ed Hussey, HR Director at or on 01784 497100

Read the Menzies report.

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