The Rules of Engagement: Five steps to satisfied staff

Just over a week ago, business leaders from across the USA descended upon New York City to attend the Employee Engagement Awards and Conference.

The day-long event – attended by Sage People’s President of Americas, Swinda Salazar-Piqumal – saw a range of speakers offer insight and advice on how to create an optimum company culture that engages and inspires its employees.

Sharing stories, strategies and tips to help optimize and recognize people power, the awards and conference celebrated those companies achieving the very best for their workforces.

But recent news would suggest that not all organizations are taking the very real issue of employee engagement on board.

Released last month, Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends Survey revealed that employee engagement and culture issues have risen to become the single biggest challenge faced by multinational companies. In the UK alone, nearly half of SME employees feel only ‘moderately engaged’, and national productivity stands nearly 20% below the G7 average.

Clearly the conversation around employee engagement is far from over, then. And with such huge potential consequences to both individual businesses and the broader economy, why are so many quick to dismiss it?

Ultimately, people drive organizations – and company culture and employee engagement within it is crucial to operations and output. So with more than half of respondents to Deloitte’s survey saying they have little or no programme in place to measure and improve engagement, it’s high time we started looking a little closer at the issue.

Inspired by her time at the EE Awards, Swinda has shared her ‘Top 5 Principles of Employee Engagement’. What could you be doing better?

1. Hire the right talent: There are 3 different types of employee – those that see work as a necessary evil; those who identify themselves with their job or career; and those who are wired from a purpose perspective. Make sure you’re recruiting the right sort of talent for your team

2. Create a purpose that inspires: A recent Gallup study found that companies with purpose have higher profit margins and are up to 30% more innovative. Is your company inspiring innovation?

3. Establish values that guide: Purpose is the why; values are the how

4. Ensure leadership is authentic: Managers execute, while leaders bring brands to life. Authenticity comes from the consistency of your actions and their alignment with your values – set a good example to your staff

5. Recognize great work: Engage your employees by appreciating them. Make sure you have a systematic way of ensuring good work is rewarded

Last week’s event facilitated some great discussions, and we look forward to seeing some of these key topics being debated further at the upcoming HR Tech Conference & Expo and HR Tech World Congress shows in Las Vegas and Paris later this year.

A version of this blog was originally published as a LinkedIn post by Sage People’s Swinda Salazar-Piquemal on 25 June, 2015.

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