David McLeod, Nita Clarke and Lord Young today joined forces with business leaders, including small business champion Eric Peacock and Sainsbury’s Justin King to launch the guidelines from the MacLeod report, delivered last year.
The new guidance – published on www.businesslink.gov.uk/employeeengagement – is designed to help employers reap the benefits of effective engagement. These include greater productivity, higher levels of innovation and lower rates of sickness and absence. The guidance has been developed with input from a range of business leaders, employers and employee engagement practitioners and follows the publication of the independent report to Government last year , ‘Engaging for Success’, co-authored by David MacLeod and Nita Clarke.
Speaking to Charlie Duff, David said: “We hope it answers the questions business had about how to go about engaging employees. We found that when they ‘got’ what engagement was, they wanted to know “what to do on Monday”. There are two halves to this – to understand the topic of engagement, read the report – to know what to do about it, see the guidelines.”
Employment Relations Minister Lord Young told HRzone: “We hope it provides a really practical guide for business." He explained how simple it was to go about engaging employees, saying: "You don’t need to go on a one week training course to do this." He also described how he felt Unions should be fully on board with engagement.
Both David and Lord Young agreed that it is ‘crucial’ that the public sector gets on board – especially now considering the likelihood of cuts in the area. They explained that the public sector needs to provide an example to UK business about how engagement can be a boon to them.
The guidance includes several examples of case studies, videos, testimonials and practical guides to help even the smaller business engage their workforce.
Nita Clarke, talking about the 18 month project, concluded at the launch: “The commitment has been fantastic. Engagement’s time has come.”
Engagement’s time may have come, but the journey isn’t over – the guidelines will continue to be built on over time in the hope of creating a current and truly useful resource for business in the UK to help British companies build on the economic recovery.