More creative tension on the employee engagement front

A few weeks ago I featured the Employee engagement taskforce in my regular People Management column.

Why? Well it’s no secret that I am a passionate advocate of employee engagement as one of the core pillars of sustainable brand management. But like many people, I’ve grown increasingly weary of witnessing rank dis/misengagement within organisations; reading about the seemingly countless surveys saying the same and then listening to the government dissemble about the topic yet take very little practical action other than to commission more committees and studies.

Perhaps this initiative will be different? I guess more time will tell.

In the meantime, a little grit in the oyster will hopefully help, especially as it comes from a passionate place.

I was naturally pleased to see the numerous and varied, mostly useful comments that the post attracted, not least this piece from North of the border by leadership specialists Able.

Creative tension on the employee engagement front

Posted on May 9, 2012

Ian Buckingham’s blog has a great new post with an even better title, ”Employee engagement Taskforce: an oxymoron?” Clearly not impressed, he says progress is ”painfully slow” whilst offering some pragmatic reasons why employers are not responding quickly enough to the case for action on the employee engagement front.

The Taskforce’s communications manager Ali Godding has provided a very useful and informative comment on Ian’s blog explaining what has been happening in the past year and what is about to happen now. All good sensible things about spreading awareness, gaining buy-in, employing social media, building momentum, etc, etc. Well worth reading.

The creative tension, however, is clear to see in this crucible. I back Ian and favour the pragmatic approach of getting on with it. I’ve written before about the simplicity and honesty of former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy’s approach, which is backed up by The Training Foundations “Rules of Engagement”: it’s all about managers being leaders and creating a positive impact in every conversation, interaction and relationship they have. I say, let this drive the need for more sophistication, rather than spend time now trying to engineer it.

I couldn’t have said it better myself Mac.

Creative tension is healthy.

But perhaps one positive to emerge from the Barclays debacle, the latest brand to implode dramatically on the back of a fundamental misunderstanding between the perspectives of the leaders versus the major stakeholders (starting with the employees), will be that the key decision makers might just start to pay a lot more attention to this business-critical area.

Tipping point?

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One thought on “More creative tension on the employee engagement front

  1. OBEs for Macloud and Clarke!!! But what have they actually done?
    5 years+ wasted, engagement levels have fallen. More people disillusioned and confused than ever. Usual establishment nonsense that brings this country into disrepute.

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