In 2011, Woodreed published a thought piece called ‘Bursting the boardroom bubble’.  It focused on the importance of employee engagement and what an important contributor it is to an organisation’s bottom line.  We asked has the message reached the boardroom agendas of UK companies.

The answer appears to be mixed. For every organisation who ‘gets it’, and they are increasingly out there, we come across headline stories like Goldman Sachs, News Corp, RBS et al where the culture appears to be far from healthy.  What some of these worst examples share is an inability to see what’s going wrong. We’ve sat in a meeting in the C-suite of one headline grabbing organisation and been assured in all seriousness and with a total commitment to the party line that everything in the garden is rosy.  More than rosy, positively blooming.

Sometimes it’s a refusal to accept that perhaps, just perhaps, top leadership is sending out all the wrong messages. A company culture based on a load of vacuous words on a poster which, even if they are robust and grounded, nobody in the senior team is seen to live.  Is anyone walking the walk or are they just talking the talk?
Are they even doing that? 

And even if they get it are they prepared to invest the time and money to do something about it?

Disappointingly those of us who practice in this area still come across senior managers and executives who say they’ve got far too many pressing operational issues on their plates just now to bother about employee engagement.  Employee engagement is all pink and fluffy after all isn’t it? 

Well no. Wake up UK plc and smell the coffee. What’s pink and fluffy about a cost to the UK economy of £64bn? Yes, £64bn.  The annual cost to the UK economy of disengagement.  Pink and fluffy? Not remotely.