Yesterday a blog post on HBR listed the 7 things great employers do that not-so-great ones don't. The author laments the still shockingly high figures of disengagement in the workplace (disengaged members of staff outnumber their happier colleagues by 2:1, according to HBR research) and outlines some tips from companies that do get employee engagement. Here they are: 1) Leaders should lead by example - change can, and should, happen both top-down and bottom-up. But the reality is that if leaders aren't actively engaged, interested and enthusiastic about change it's unlikely to spread throughout an organisation. You really do have to practice what you preach - there's no point preaching it otherwise.
2) Cracking HR people are as rare as hen's teeth - I love this, it's so true! HR is such an important function to any business in many ways, but particularly when it comes to engaging your people. Make sure your HR department is full of good and creative leaders who will inspire and excite your team.
3) Don't neglect the basics - you can't expect major change or commitment from the people if you haven't got the basics right. If your staff don't have what they need in terms of resource and support to do their job properly and safely, you're never going to gain their enthusiasm.
4) The economy is not an excuse - stop blaming the tight budgets for your poor employee engagement efforts. Employee engagement should be right near the top of your 'can't compromise' list. A company is made up of people, and if those people are unhappy the whole business will suffer.
5) 'Lavish support' on your managers - your managers are the cogs in your machine. Make sure they have everything they need from you to do their job properly and support those underneath them.
6) Don't dither - be bold and be decisive. Make your decisions clear, concise and straightforward. Communicate your decisions so everyone's on board from the beginning.
7) Don't 'manage to the metric' - you shouldn't be pursuing employee engagement just to tick a box. You should feel passionate about it - if you don't you can hardly expect your staff to!
So there you go. What do you think? Any others to add to the list? I'd love to hear your thoughts.