Is employee engagement the key to unlocking performance?

There are numerous books written by ‘experts’ dictating to organisations how best to improve employee performance. However, more recently it has been made clear that amongst the competitive world of management solutions employee engagement seems to be the key to unlocking potential and increasing performance.

Longitudinal research has shown that without engagement organisations will fail to deliver on their targets and will lose their competitive advantage. The economic benefit of employee engagement has not gone unnoticed by Government with Britain’s largest ever employee engagement survey being commissioned in 2009. Over 500,000 civil servants took part in the survey and currently solutions, as suggested by the Employee Engagement Specialist Forum, are still being actioned. The Engaging for Success report suggested that disengagement costs the economy around £64 billion and companies investing into employee engagement surveys and subsequent actions as part of a long term engagement programme will see a significant return on investment.

It is clear from the report and Employee Feedback’s own data from employee engagement surveys that crucial to getting engagement right is enabling the ‘employee voice’ and for individuals to be involved in the organisation as a whole. Common barriers to engagement have been seen to include lack of awareness of the wider organisation and also manager’s reluctance to take on or encourage feedback from their staff. The report, which our data also substantiates, suggests that there are four key enablers: line management, leadership, employee voice and integrity.

Whilst all organisations need to be careful not to be simplistic about employee engagement issues we need to ensure the communicated values of an organisation are lived for real and that the employee engagement survey is not just lip service to the issues but that it is the start of really listening and respecting the voice of the employee from all levels. Crucially, employee engagement is all about placing the employee and the way in which they are managed at the heart of the organisation; should this mantra be adhered to, it is likely that improvements to company performance would be a benefit to be reaped alongside a more motivated, satisfied and committed workforce, ready to go that extra mile.

Employee Feedback can help with the start of your engagement programme with an employee engagement survey tailored to your needs. Should you require help with subsequent actions, workshops can be facilitated to help develop employee engagement action plans for the future of your organisation.

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