Our team is tiny, so engagement is almost a non-issue at this stage. However, we are never ones to miss an opportunity to learn and network. All of the speakers were excellent and had different points to make but overall they echoed similar sentiments when it came to engagement in the workplace.
In no particular order, here are the Top 5 things I learned about Employee Engagement:
1. You cannot force your employees to be engaged.
The sooner everyone realises that you cannot force engagement on someone then we are one step closer to not wasting our time trying. The reality is the vast majority of employees want to be engaged, are ready to be engaged and have the autonomy to engage themselves. Your job as an employer is to not disengage them. How? Well it’s about having an open dialogue and finding the optimal environment for that individual to flourish and put in the discretionary effort you’d love to see.
2. There is a strong relationship between engagement and high performance Athletes
When Keith Hatter (Planet K2) made the comparison, the audience was a little perplexed (as you might be too). Think of it this way, high performance athletes are probably some of the most engaged people on the planet, however just because someone is a high performer at work, doesn’t mean they are highly engaged. Athletes defy great obstacles within their careers and that largely down to to their mindset (and natural talents). They take responsibility for their performance despite the conditions. They always seek to do better than they did yesterday.
The governing thought of a high performing individual:
‘I need to be better at my job today, than I was yesterday.‘
The governing thought of an average or low performing individual:
‘What do I need to get done today?‘
3. People can be categorised using Richard Bartle’s Gamer psychology
If you don’t know who that is, that’s fine, neither did I until my best bud Google helped me out. The short version: He hypothesised that players can be categorized into 4 profiles: Killers, Achievers, Socialites and Explorers. Roger Gorman of Profinda very eloquently explained how this can relate to your employee engagement, thankfully we have his slide image that summarises this better than I ever could.
4. Corporate culture can ruin a great culture through acquisition
If a company is large enough to acquire small companies like a Monopoly ninja. Chances are they might ruin the very culture that created great innovation worthy of acquisition in the first place. Maria Boucher explained the process Boeing is going through to try to overcome this, but it is an ongoing process. Check out her slides on the topic (they start at 33).
5. The price of not having engaged employees is TERRIFYING (no, really!)
The UK ranked 9th for engagement levels out of the 12 largest economies (as ranked by GDP) the level of disengagement in the UK workforce is costing us a lot of money. According to Cathy at Engage for Success if we moved to the top/middle of the quartile our GDP would increase by £25.8bn!!! Do it for England people!
A massive thank you to Jim and Matt for a great event and to all the speakers for their amazing insight into this immensely interesting topic. We are very much looking forward to the next one. You can view all the slides from the event here.
If you haven’t heard by now, Manners and Murphy are hosting the Employee Engagement Awards and the deadline is fast approaching, October 1st in fact. If your workplace is super engaged (and you also like George Lamb) then get your entry in today!