Thursday, 4 December 2014

Santa, can you help employee engagement?

Dear Santa,

My kids have been crafting their Christmas lists for weeks so I thought I’d send you mine too. It’s just a handful of things I’d love to change about the profession I’m part of. Can you help us achieve the following?
1.     Stop trying to define what we do – unless your elves can create a universally-accepted explanation, in which case please feel free to drop it down the chimney. Currently, the time we spend discussing what we do hinders us from getting on and doing it.

2.     Focus increasingly on business need – we’re getting better at this, but we must ensure everything we plan and do is rooted in – not just related to – business goals. We’ve got to articulate a clear, strong and measurable link at all times.

3.     We end talk of ‘adding value’ – I hate the phrase. It may be a personal thing, but I can’t believe people will be clamouring to keep it. Let’s just show how we plan to make a difference and get on with doing it.

4.     We accept surveys for what they are – they have a role: they’re not perfect, but let’s recognise that, take what we need from them and move on. 

5.      We give managers more attention – we know managers need more support to build communication skills and confidence. We’ve talked about it a lot, but not done enough about it. Let’s work with colleagues in areas like HR to make this a priority in 2015.

6.     We tame technology – new tools and platforms offer us major opportunities to improve the way we engage with employees, but we’re in danger of being dazzled by them. Let’s be clear on the engagement needs in our different organisations and find the right tool(s) to meet them (rather than approaching things the other way round).

7.     We get better at measurement – yes, I know I asked for this last year, but we need to go even further in the next twelve months. We need to be clearer, more consistent and more sophisticated in the way we evaluate progress, identify issues and demonstrate the difference we deliver.  
I could go on, but you’re a busy man (and having seen what my kids have written, I doubt you’ll have time to consider the rest of us). Any help with these areas would really benefit me, my colleagues and the organisations we work in or with. And I won’t have to hassle the Easter Bunny in a few months’ time.

Thanks in advance