The notion that employee attitudes and behaviours have an impact on productivity and overall performance is by no means a recent revelation. However, with the shifting nature of the workplace, HR professionals are facing an increasing number of complex challenges. Engaging with leading accounting talent has swiftly moved up the strategic agenda - but why should motivating and engaging employees matter more now than ever?
At a recent interactive seminar hosted by us at the BAFTA headquarters, we discussed the issues at the heart of employee engagement, motivation and retention with David MacLeod OBE, co-Chair of the Employment Engagement launched by the government. It became clear during discussions that organisations are having to work harder to not only recruit but also retain top talent.Firstly, poor employee engagement can lead to a loss of vital talent, and ultimately damage an organisation’s employer brand. Aside from potential impact on a business’s most valuable resource - its people - motivation and positive employee attitudes can increase overall profitability. So how can employers ensure that their workforce remains truly motivated? Here's the advice discussed on how to keep your employees successfully engaged:
Organisations that aim to engage their employees need to be aware of the company’s history, its current position, aims and goals, and where it aspires to progress to in the future. Managers cannot create a company’s culture on their own, but they are certainty a driving force in implementing it. The same can be said of strategy, and good leaders need to ensure that they communicate the overall strategy to their teams so that they truly feel a part of their organisations. Employees that can relate to an overarching strategy and understand how their work contributes to the business’s objectives are more likely to feel engaged and stay with the company.
Employees’ ability to voice their ideas and concerns is present throughout all organisations that have high levels of employee engagement. Your team need to feel as though they are being listened to, both when they have ideas and concerns, otherwise employees risk creating a division between employees and leaders.
Good leaders can be hard to find. In fact a study from a psychologist, Michelle McQuaid, found that only 35% of US employees would prefer a pay rise to a new boss. The study also found three common characteristics shared by ‘good leaders’. The ability to openly discuss objectives for success and help create individual objectives for different staff members was highlighted as a key skill amongst good leaders. Successful leaders will also recognise that their team is made up of individuals and not ‘human capital’ - they understand that each employees has their own personality and set of aspirations. They also set high standards, and ensure that the support required to reach them is provided on both a formal and informal basis.
Most organisations have a set of five of six values, however leaders need to ensure that these are reflected throughout the organisation. Relationships that are built on a set of shared values are likely to be stronger and more productive. Leaders need to ensure that all employees understand the importance of each individual value and why it underpins the work they do. Employees are more likely to feel engaged with leadership if they hold a set of shared values, and are less likely to leave the company.
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