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Engagement Under The Spotlight

HR professionals spent a few hours immersed in an insightful discussion on engagement strategies, hosted by Elysian and facilitated by top engagement expert Chris Atkinson.

There was much common ground to be found amongst the HR professionals as discussions explored the impact on employee engagement caused by merger and corporate acquisitions. They felt a key challenge centred around  maintaining a consistent corporate identity and value set in the face of all of the change.


Engagement Strategy Event


In addition to the feel good aspects, there is also a significant commercial benefit in engagement and Chris led an active discussion that explored stats and findings from the largest global research studies into employee engagement.

Perks and benefits are not key levers. They are likely to lead to dissatisfaction especially if they have to be removed due to budget decreases – Chris Atkinson

Participants learnt that, once employees receive enough pay to survive, the modern workforce soon becomes interested and motivated by different things than they were fifty to a hundred years ago. Traditional approaches to productivity involve incentivising the desired behaviours and punishing poor performance. This traditional thinking is not only less effective but also it is shown to produce a low rate of return. It is time to embrace new, more effective approaches.

Case studies of companies that have consistently outperformed market trends as well as their competitors were shared. Participants considered at what these businesses were doing to achieve such successful results and, therefore, what ideas we could take about what really drives engagement to establish best practices.
Many of these companies are challenging traditional assumptions or workplace practices e.g. GORE (famous for Gore-Tex) have more than 10,000 employees and over $1 billion turnover but not one line manager. All employees are equal in seniority.

Another example of a modern thinking company is Netflix. They have stopped monitoring  employee annual leave. They simply trust teams to manage their own time and measure effective performance. This lack of holiday/ time off policy has released time and resources back into the company, allowing them to focus on other things.

The case studies led to conversations about traditional methods of performance management and how many big name organisations are now abolishing them. Organisations are increasingly in favour of more regular person centred reviews with less focus on KPIs.

Delegates next discussed how organisations measure engagement. Many of those present said that, in their experience, companies do not specifically measure employee engagement. However, where they do, it is often as a bolt on question in the annual staff survey. There was little experience of a structured or sophisticated measure of the engagement of their people. With human resource being one of the most heavily invested in elements of any business Chris showed participants tools and approaches including Gallup Q12 and UWES models as methods to measure employee engagement and monitor the effectiveness of people investment.

Finally, the group discussed the importance of strategically positioning HR and OD requests through the language of the boardroom (a topic that is greatly focused on in Elysian’s HR Strategic Positioning Events, see below). Simply put, in order to achieve buy in from the board, the language used in the business case for people development needs to reflect the language and interests of board members, often financial but also strategic and interconnected with data and business objectives. This ties neatly in with the need to measure engagement and prove its impact on the bottom line. A number of delegates found this conversation so insightful and professionally powerful that Elysian is will shortly announce dates for training seminars on this specific topic “Language of the Boardroom”. It’s key objective will be to develop participant’s skills, understanding and approach to presenting business cases more powerfully to the executive team, becoming more commercial in their approach.

Interested in joining us for the next Engagement Strategy Event ? Check here for upcoming dates.

Alternatively > check out the free HR Strategic Positioning Event coming up in October here.

Register your interest in our upcoming “Language of the Boardroom” training seminar and we’ll send you more details when they become available.


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