Getting employee engagement right

How to get employee engagement right

November 23, 2015

Everyone has heard about the war for talent, but recruiting a new starter is just the first battle.

Damaging attrition rates among new colleagues can place a huge financial burden on employers.

No company is immune, so the benefits of stability among your workforce – whether it’s two or 200-stong – can’t be over-stated. But how is this achieved?

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet.

The war for recruiting – and retaining – talent is one where small percentage gains across the board make a big difference.

And companies with high employee engagement levels are always going to be ahead of the pack.

There are obviously a few essentials, like getting the salary right and providing good career progression opportunities, but beyond that what can you do to keep your work force on side?

Creating an atmosphere where employees’ opinions are not just heard, but valued, goes a long way to driving engagement.

Here are a few examples of companies who’re getting it spot on:

Anglian Water:
Open House was launched in 2009 as a forum to listen to the views and ideas of employees.

Representatives from all parts of the business are elected by their colleagues every three years.

They will attend Open House meetings four times a year, when there is an opportunity for candid discussions with CEO Peter Simpson and other senior managers about matters affecting the industry, Anglian Water and its employees.

In the last six years Open House reps have helped shape the company’s thinking about a wide range of things, from shift patterns to IT support.

Izabela Kasak, Energy Optimisation Engineer, has been an Open House rep since 2012: “I wanted to make a difference.

“You get an enormous sense of satisfaction when you get an idea agreed or a problem fixed on behalf of your colleagues, and meeting the senior managers and finding out what’s happening in our company and our industry has really helped me understand the changes taking place in Anglian Water.”


Travis Perkins plc:
Most of us have seen Dragons’ Den, but what if it were the dragons doing the pitching?

That was the premise of an initiative within BSS Industrial, a heating and pipeline distributor within the TP Group.

Drivers, warehouse and administrative colleagues formed the panel, while managers took turns to present their ideas. Those ideas supported by the panel were investigated further.

General Manager Designate Greg Tagg took part. He said: “As managers, you can always dictate to people, but you’re not the one out there doing the job.

“The strategy was to put ideas in front of the people they will really impact.

“We were like a sounding board and some of us really got into the role and gave a few of the managers quite a grilling; we didn’t just say yes or no, we really challenged them.”


The Hilton:
Recognising and rewarding hard work is fundamental to engagement, and Hilton Worldwide is one company ticking many boxes.

The company has introduced recognition tools such as Catch Me at My Best – inviting team members to digitally recognise the hard work of their colleagues by ‘catching’ them online, and team members with the most catches are regularly rewarded.

Perks and rewards often revolve around internal communications and team events.

This year’s corporate summer event in Watford promoted the relationship that the company has with F1 motor racing – where teams competed in a pit stop challenge for the fastest tire change, and there were also prizes throughout the day including F1 grand prix tickets.

Katrina Jones, VP Corporate Communications, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “It’s fantastic that we’re able to create internal events that celebrate our team members.

“Through our internal communications we’re continually looking for ways to bring to life the dynamic business we work in for our team members internally, our objective being to further inspire and engage our people across our 375 hotels in 76 countries and territories in EMEA.”