As Steve Jobs once said “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Each day, thousands and thousands of employees in the UK are considering a move from their existing roles, whether it’s a glance at the job boards to actively interviewing with a competitor. It’s been recognised for years now that the more a company can engage its employees, the more they maximise their chance of retaining their staff, and so how this is being done and how seriously it is being taken cannot be underestimated. How do you engage your staff to enhance their satisfaction and love for their daily grind?
Gary Toneguzzo, the HR Director at Covance told us the lack of an engaged workforce can result in huge attrition and subsequent recruiting costs for companies, as well as losing the valuable knowledge a leaver takes with them. They understand they need an action plan to retain their talent and use a variety of common mechanisms to try and achieve this such as 1:1 and team meetings, individual development plans, awarding anniversaries, individual and team awards, themed work days and charity days. Gary understands that to remain competitive they will need to go the extra mile to make their company more attractive than the competitors’. This view is echoed by another Head of HR I interviewed, who emphasises the link between a highly engaged work force, high productivity and ultimately customer satisfaction.
Organisations fully embracing engagement initiatives understand the multifaceted approach they need to take to accommodate the different attitudes of the Baby Boomers to Gen Y & Z. It’s widely recognised that the strength of a brand is at the very least strengthened by the staff being engaged. The Perfume Shops’ Liz Little thoroughly agrees, “If you have an unhappy workforce, you don’t have a business”. Period. Generation C as Liz continues are all about brand awareness. A brand weakened by the employee experience will struggle to attract to talent into their organisation.
Hema Patel, summed up the complexity of engaging all employees. United Biscuits are facing engagement initiatives head on, celebrating success big and small, emphasising their vision and values across the organisation from a mere “thank you” to more substantial, more tangible rewards. We know that different things engage people differently. For example, the idea of a Long Service Award to a typical Gen Y would be very strange to say the least and yet I know for many organisations it’s absolutely vital they have it in place. As Hema quite rightly states, particularly with the sizeable work force at UB they are aiming to engage, it’s “6000 employees – 6000 methods of engagement”!
Best of luck then !