According to Gallup and the CIPD, “only 36% of employees trust their leaders”.

The Base Business event on employee engagement raised laughs, but also genuine concerns around management capabilities.

Richard Jeffrey from Business Navigators and Kim Hayton from FDR HR both gave presentations underpinned by the commitment of business leaders to live their values and not just pay them – and employee engagement – lip service.

Richard shared examples of how inclusion when framing a business vision, a collective approach, yields real commercial benefits. Focusing on your people and their performance, aims and objectives, delivers increased profitability, productivity and creativity while absenteeism declines and retention improves.

These referenced insights were corroborated by the same Gallup and CIPD research that revealed 58% of employees are “not bothered about their work” and that 9 out 10 barriers to successful change are people related.

Kim then went on to highlight how the release of “discretionary effort”, the goodwill of staff, results from a sense of purpose, recognition and development but primarily from leaders who actually lead.

Drawing on experiences with “accidental managers”, Kim asked for examples from the audience of good and bad managers. The consensus, evidenced by personal anecdotes, supported the observation that employees leave managers (not businesses) and those managers tend not to listen, to bully and are glass-half-empty types.

Conversely; those who trust their staff, inspire and incentivise them to grow and use their own initiative – those who realise enthusiasm and happiness isn’t just fluffy HR ideas – build teams who feel compelled to release their “discretionary effort”.

Fundamentally both speakers demonstrated the value of employee engagement as a business imperative and the dangers of treating it superficially. So, once more, attendees left The Base with plenty to think about – and do – after one of our events.

If you’d like to attend our next business event, on May 23rd, on the subject of innovation, where you will hear from Inventya and Innovate UK, please register at BaseConnect.

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