For me, it’s always a positive economical sign when I read about motivation, engagement and commitment in newspaper reports, rather than redundancy, pay freezes and poor pay. There is still plenty of the latter, I should add, but some of the former is creeping back in – and that shows that once again business heads are thinking about how to retain and develop staff, not asking themselves how much longer they can afford to pay for their workforce. Last week The Times (which has been an incredible source of business management material recently), ran off some facts and figures about engagement levels among UK employees, supplied by researcher XpertHR, and it was positive to note that some companies are working hard to improve levels of engagement before it becomes too much of a problem. I suppose, during the darker days of the recession the pressure was on the employee to hold on to their job, but as the days become lighter and the opportunities to move on become more attractive, the onus is back with the employer to incentivise and engage – as recruiting and training is an expensive hobby for any board to indulge in.

What was really interesting in the report, was this headline: Things employers think have the most influence on employee engagement. The word ‘think’ intrigues me, because it identifies a huge problem when it comes to workplace engagement  – management doesn’t actually know what encourages engagement among workers, and that’s a massive problem. So, the report revealed that 33.8% think pay has an impact on engagement, while just 20.9% think that it is connected to the relationship that workers have with their manager. In truth, none of these stats are useful because they are based on assumptions, not facts.

This also highlights the need for the 360 degree appraisal tool, because this allows company leaders to actually find out, via accurate behavioural tests that have been created (certainly in our case) by psychology experts, what is making that organisation tick, and what potentially is slowing it down.

In effect, it takes the ‘think’ out of ‘Things employers think have the most influence on employee engagement’, and instead lets employers work with the facts. 

Elva Ainsworth

Managing Director – Talent Innovations

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