Everyone’s a winner
9 February 2010,
Organisational psychologist Steve Bagi specialises in helping individuals and staff teams to understand and use their strengths and work more effectively.
Bagi conducted a meeting with business owners that showed their biggest cause of stress was their staff.
“One by one, as we went around the table, the answer was the same,” says Bagi.
“Although the issues varied, the common denominator was that they all found it challenging and stressful to create a workplace that could keep the right staff working together effectively.
“When businesses and organisations have the right people engaged and enthusiastic about their work, everyone wins as it leads to greater profitability, customer service and staff job satisfaction.”
What is staff engagement?
They also feel validated and appreciated and want to give their best to their work. A study carried out in 2005 by the consulting company, Towers Perrin, looked at staff engagement in mid-sized to large companies across 16 countries.
To gauge levels of engagement they asked employees to rate how they related to these items:
They found that, overall, only 14 per cent were highly engaged while 24 per cent were quite disengaged. In simpler terms, 86 per cent were giving less than their best. This leaves huge scope for improvement. In order to boost staff engagement, some managers may try different tactics which may not be the most effective in the long run.
Threats may produce some short-term gains but they certainly won’t make the place happier and productive in the long run. Being angry with staff doesn’t address the underlying problems of why their performance is down.
This kind of pampering can be a very positive way to encourage your staff but it is not sufficient in itself to develop an effective and unified team.
A great party does not lead to greater work engagement and cannot undo ineffective management and poor relationships. Fairy floss is sweet but has no lasting substance as it quickly dissolves in your mouth.
I think that this approach will not be as effective in the future, as through the GFC many people have seen that the hype did not save the day when it came to the crunch.
As people have either witnessed or heard about long-serving loyal employees being made redundant, they have become less likely to be influenced by the upbeat ‘Ra Ra’ meeting.
An inspiring conference or workshop can give a great boost to people’s spirits and commitment but if it’s to last then there need to be a lot more processes in place.