When Gemma thought about the theme of this year’s Learning at Work week, ‘Shaping the Future’, she was reminded of one of the findings from the HRD People Leaders’ Report 2018.
‘Britain has long ranked poorly in global league tables for employee engagement, and the country’s productivity is stalling; in fact, the UK workforce has been found to be 15% less productive than the EU average’. If you’d like to read more from this report then click here. This suggests an intrinsic link between employee engagement and productivity and they’re in good company. In 2016 Gallup conducted a worldwide research project that concluded engaged employees were 17% more productive than their non-engaged counterparts. Not only are they more productive, engaged staff also demonstrate lower levels of absenteeism and turnover. They turn up for work more often and stay in the job longer. Companies with high engagement levels also report fewer health and safety incidents, and less mistakes. No wonder that the HRD People Leaders’ Report suggests that engagement was identified as a key area of focus for 26.63% of respondents – indeed, perhaps this number should be a lot higher?
What can employers do to improve the engagement score? We at Rambutan believe that employee engagement is not poor because of dreary canteens or old office furniture. These things add to the employee experience but the crucial factor is fair, genuine, transparent and sustainable leadership. Gallup’s research corroborates this; their findings suggest that leaders and managers are primarily responsible for their employees’ engagement levels. So, to improve productivity, and essentially bottom line profit, businesses need to focus on employee engagement and the main contributing factor to improving that is to increase leadership and management skills. Leadership is not defined by a badge or a job title; it’s a mindset and approach that can be learned and developed. Leaders need to listen, empower and enrich their employees. They need to care about the business results and the people who generate them.
For this #LearningatWorkWeek perhaps you could consider how to increase the skills and confidence of your existing and future leaders and managers. Building their competence and enabling them to understand the importance of their role will undoubtedly help your business to become ‘future ready’ and as we’ve seen the benefits are immeasurable.