We are in the midst of an employee engagement crisis
Many organisations have put real effort into raising employee engagement since the financial crash. Despite this there has been little change.
The latest Gallup State of the Global Workplace report, 2017, showed movement from 13% in 2009 to just 15% of employees being engaged in their work.
At the same time we have seen a rise in the number of disengaged employees and in mental ill-health being reported.
If you want to see more of your employees willingly give more, what can you do?
The Virgin way
Richard Branson talks about the three key groups of people in his businesses; employees, customers, and shareholders.
His formula is very simple. Happy employees mean happy customers, while unhappy employees ruin the experience for customers. He laments that so many other organisations put the customer first.
For him it is all about putting his employees front and centre, ensuring they are valued and developed. They must have the right skills and tools to do their job.
This means they can leave and pursue new jobs and opportunities, yet his philosophy is to treat them so well that they never want to.
“If the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile. If you can put employees first, your customers second and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your employees are happy. That is the philosophy that we are teaching.”
Sir Richard Branson
An apple a day?
Many organisations start with a health approach to wellbeing. Organising employee events, providing medical assistance, resilience or mindfulness training, and healthy eating advice.
While these are positive steps, they are not the place to start. They provide a quick fix rather than a solid foundation. Employees continue to face the same daily challenges and pressures.
To get a real return on your investment, increase employee engagement and simply make employee wellbeing a part of your everyday culture, you need to address the behaviours of your leaders and managers.
Like a house, the wellbeing of your employees needs to be built from the foundations up.
Start with the foundations
Strong foundations cover two key areas:
- The behaviour of leaders and as a result how well employees feel they are treated, supported and valued
- The systems that support them, including how workplace stress is systematically addressed
The biggest impact on staff wellbeing comes from line managers according to Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a leading UK expert on organisational wellbeing and President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
“The thing that is causing people to get ill at work and adversely affect their quality of working life is line managers who are not socially and interpersonally skilled. They don’t have the soft skills that are needed.”
Professor Sir Cary Cooper
Without effective training and support, line managers learn the hard way through trial and error and are sometimes simply unaware of the impact their behaviour has on others.
The good news is these are all learnable competencies.
Building a Well-BEE-ing culture
We can support you to build a toolkit that will ensure all leaders in your organisation are aware of the competencies proven to prevent and reduce stress. They are the foundations to dramatically improve engagement and create Well-BEE-ing – the Best Employee Experience.
It's a different approach to that often seen when approaching organisational wellbeing. It addresses the cause of employee dissatisfaction, rather than simply addressing the symptoms. If you would like to improve employee engagement and create a Well-BEE-ing culture in your organisation contact us now.