Thinking on Engagement

This really is thinking on engagement and something of a brain dump – I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on the subject.

Much has been written on the topic of Employee Engagement and rather than being a fad of sorts or the thing to do of the moment it appears this facet of “HR” is here to stay. I put marks around “HR” as I think engagement is so much bigger than a facet of HR and something the business as a whole should be concerned with and should be top of mind for organisational leaders.

According to Gallup’s 2014 research only 13% of all employees are “highly engaged” and a staggering 26% are “actively disengaged” ( From this research we also know the following to be true:
·        Engagement makes a difference to the bottom line; Work units in the top 25% of Gallup’s Q12 Client Database have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25%
·        Poor hiring and management practices hinder companies’ growth and engagement levels
·        Worldwide, engaged employees regard their lives more highly and experience more positive emotions

So with all we know about engagement and the countless suggestions for improving it from “The 10 C’s of Employment Engagement” ( to the “Four Enablers of Engagement” ( and thereby resolving the disengagement issues in organisations – why are we still seeing such poor results?

I think the solution may be somewhat simpler than the likes of above and other similar other methodologies may suggest.

How about simply? 
·        Hire for role and fit
·        Invest in people
·        Communicate
·        Inspire, include, recognise
·        Be flexible

After putting together the above I found this article ( “5 Ways to Embed your Organisation with a Culture of Happiness”, these were: Connect, Be Fair, Empower, Challenge & Inspire, and I like this also.

Or perhaps it could get even simpler: People Matter. There’s been a lot of talk lately in HR circles that I follow through blogs and social media about simplifying many facets of HR, largely centred around archaic policies, position descriptions and the use of jargon or “HR speak” in documentation. But how about simplifying something less tangible such as Employee Engagement. How about simply treating all employees as you yourself would wish to be treated? Should we really need an employee engagement strategy – maybe I’m thinking too ‘ideal world’?!

Like I say this is a brain dump and a work in progress – would love your thoughts and comments.


To the Friend, the Colleague and the Mentor…

As with many of us in drawing closer to the end of the year I begin to reflect. 2014 has been a big year; achievements, weddings, promotions, recognition, trials, tribulations, moving house, restructures, new management, to name a few and the list goes on. And in this time of reflection I’m continuously brought back to two things, relationships and communication. Largely the two fit very nicely together, and in this instance it’s the positive in the two I’m focusing on.

In my workplace every December for the past five years we’ve completed the Gallup Q12 Survey. One of the statements “I have a best friend at work” always strikes a chord with staff. Often I wonder what it is about this they find amusing, challenging and/or at times silly? For me it’s very simple – do you have someone at work you can talk to? It’s someone to bounce ideas off, talk through problems or issues; share in wins and the like. I’m sure for most of us there may be more than one person who fits the bill depending on the situation and for others they may have a set ‘go-to’ person. For me there are many; but for the purpose of this piece there’s one in particular I have in mind. She’s a rock, a super star and never ceases to amaze me in her ability to go out of her way to ensure the growth, development and support of others. This person has become a true friend, and in many ways a mentor.

My friend/s. I’m an extrovert so yes there are many, but some that are true treasures that I hold very dear and these are the ones who truly know me. They too have filled all three roles at times – friend, mentor and colleague. Their unquestioning support and at times unasked for opinions are what makes the relationship beautiful and gives me an added confidence in myself and the roads I choose to travel. I back myself 100%, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without these wonderful people to sharing in my life’s journey.

Some years back I had a wonderful mentor, who became a collegue and is now a friend. And similarly a new mentor relationship has evolved through a social media friendship with a like-minded sole who was/is always available for support and conversation, and I’m looking forward to where this road takes us.

And this is my point in many ways. These roles can interchange over the course of time, colleague, mentor, friend. Relationships evolve. To each of these people and these roles thank you. Thank you for the support, for the guidance, for being there and for the lack of judgement. Thank you for seeing me on my own path, nudging me back if I stray over the centre line, for still being there when I’ve taken a wrong turn or veered way off path and had to make a u-turn. Value your relationships. Make time for them and put effort into them. Communicate. Ensure people know how much you appreciate them. Give back…tis the season after all.

With nods to the following for inspiration: