What’s next for employee engagement? Part 2

By Stuart Mackenzie and Sarah Phibbs-Moss 2nd October 2018 Leadership

Next steps for employee engagement: Part 2

As a leader, how do you stop wasting money on crippling turnover costs by mastering the artistry of employee engagement?

Let’s look at the facts: data from the Engaging for Success report shows that organisations with higher engagement have:

There has been compelling new evidence that supports Macleod and Clarke’s claims over the last decade as well. Research collected by US organisations Dynamic Signal and Talent Culture has shown:

Making employees feel valued

Unlike pieces of equipment which come with operating manuals so you can get the best performance out of them, human beings don’t come with instructions, as each model is unique. So, the first step is to find out from each individual person what would make them feel valued at work.

Aside from money, what ways do you have of showing people that they are making a difference and that they are valuable to the organisation?

Often the focus of the discussion is around salary, yet we know that money is only part of the equation. Other motivators could include:

When working with one of our clients, they used this list to identify engaged employees:

Could you imagine all your employees feeling like this? How exciting and productive would this feel?

Survey and assessment

Whilst many organisations are already conducting employee engagement surveys, they are often less rigorous in their assessment of leadership.

A tool that leaders found to be effective in our work with Ocado and Capgemini was our 360° Leadership Profile. This tool was used to contextualise what employees thought of their leadership style, offering practical and useful insights into their strengths and developmental needs. From the feedback, their leadership style can then be adjusted and transformed to have the maximum impact on their engagement.

For more information about the 360° Leadership Profile, click here.

Five practical steps to improve employee engagement

1. Attention

Take a vital first step in triggering engagement by giving your full and exclusive attention to a person, by seeing who they are, listening to their experiences, and empathising with their cares and concerns.

“The only factor becoming scarce in the world of abundance is human attention.” – Kevin Kelly

2. Belonging

Human beings have a need to belong and connect. You can strengthen your people’s sense of belonging by being more inclusive and seeking to connect individuals together. Find someone in your team today and show them why they are an important part of what you want to achieve.

“Humans live best when each has a place to stand, when each knows where they belong in the scheme of things, and what they may achieve.” – Frank Herbert

3. Emotional Intelligence

The way you express your emotions heavily influences others. Your ability to empathise with, and therefore value another person’s feelings will affect their willingness to engage. Every hour on the hour, ask yourself, “How am I feeling? How are others around me feeling?” This will help you build emotional intelligence.

“The emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain.” – Daniel Goleman

4. Individuality

To successfully engage talent, treat each person as an individual with their own unique gifts and abilities – they are one of a kind. Make them feel special by tailoring your leadership style to their particular needs.

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

5. Trust

Less than a third of employees trust their managers. Perhaps that’s because so few managers seem to believe that trust is important. It is in fact critical in promoting engagement. Make an inventory of the promises or agreements you have made recently, and make sure you keep them.

“He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.” – Lao Tzu

Further reading

Read Part 1: What's missing from employee engagement? on our website, or download our Employee Engagement whitepaper to read our full report. For more information on how the 360° Leadership Profile can help your organisation, click here.


[1] Workplace Research Foundation; [2] UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School; [3] Gallup; [4] Cvent; [5] Queen’s School of Business; [6] Gallup; [7] Dale Carnegie

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