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Engaging the Disengaged

bored-meeting-art1 400x265One third of us go into work each day disengaged.

And 75% of businesses use employee surveys as their only engagement activity.

With figures like that, the picture looks bleak.  So how do we go about Engaging the Disengaged?

But Tanith Dodge, Director of HR at Marks & Spencer had more positive things to share as well – aside from the fun facts that M&S sell a pair of pants per second and all the hosiery they sell would stretch to Hong Kong and back.

Various activities at M&S have lead to reduced absence, higher engagement, increased overall performance in stores and massive cost savings.  Making the link between engagement and performance, there was a £104 million sales difference between the top and bottom scorers on employee engagement.

Reflections

You can see why the David MacLeod taskforce has been set up – we’ve been talking about the importance of this for decades, yet still the statistics are shocking.  We are not getting this right and we are paying the price in our business performance.

How focused are we on changing that position?  How are we keeping that focus alive after years of working on it?  What can we learn from case studies like M&S to find things that work for our businesses?

And as we shift the focus from always asking in HR what we can do for our people, let’s ask: What do our people want – and what will they do to get it?

Takeaways

  • Employee engagement delivers results – we have the proof
  • We know engagement is something we cannot achieve with surveys, so we want managers who show interest in their teams, and naturally stir up passion and action
  • The challenge for us then is what more can we be doing to facilitate higher engagement in our leaders and teams?

M&S has some great examples of things that work, but the same things won’t necessarily work for different companies.  The challenge is to find what works well for us

Further Reading

The David MacLeod taskforce continues to work on getting this message across and finding ways to convince leaders they need to do something differently.