Does anyone else find it quite concerning that ‘Policy’ features in the highest searched phrase relating to employee engagement? (according to Google keyword planner).

I’m not sure who finds policies ‘engaging’, however I’m pretty confident it’s not your average employee!

Disengaged EmployeeThis gives us an interesting insight into how leaders and managers are trying to tackle the low levels of employee engagement that we have in the UK.  Globally current levels of employee engagement are running at the shockingly low level of 13%, and in the UK it’s even more challenging with just 11% of employees fully engaged with their work, their work place and colleagues. That leaves 89% of employees ambivalent, or worse being actively disengaged with their work.

The good news is we have just identified one of the biggest opportunities to increasing productivity in any business. But I’m not sure creating a ‘policy’ is the way to go?

Why an employee engagement policy doesn’t work…

At the heart of engagement sits the quality of an individual’s relationships – with their boss and with their colleagues.  Are these relationships respectful, trusting, supportive of learning and developments?  Is work a fun and enjoyable place to be? Do you recognise and celebrate great work?  Behaviours and attitudes are the secret to unlocking higher employee engagement!

As leaders we need to be looking internally at how we are ‘Being’ as we manage and lead our teams, much more so that what we are ‘Doing’.  If you are a regular reader, you will be familiar with the formula for life success!

Be x Do = Have

And so much in business (and in life) really does come back down to this simple formula! Employee engagement is no different. If you want to Have higher engagement in your team, I highly recommend you start by taking a long hard look at how you’re ‘Being’ with teams.  What kind of relationships are you fostering?  How are you recognising the achievement of your team and the individuals within it?  What are your management habits saying about how you value your team members?  Do you delay one-to-one meetings with your direct reports?  Skimp on training opportunities?  Micro manage to the nth degree?  Or do you give people the space to take responsibility, to slip up and learn from the experience, to have a voice that counts?  To feel a key member of the team, with clear role responsibilities.

Employee Engagement Increased profitabilityWhilst these practices could be written in a policy, as we know, that doesn’t mean anything will actually happen!  Therefore creating a culture and shared behaviours that encourage, or should I say even demand, that these positive management and team practices are rife in your business, is a fundamental.  This will set you on a path to stronger engagement levels, even if it takes a bit more effort than googling “Employee Engagement Policy”.

If you‘d like to understand more on how to increase engagement and productivity with your teams, please join our free workshop. Friday 3rd May at Harleyford Golf Club, Marlow.