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Engaging employees the Right way

Disengaged employees can be a huge drain on a business and tricky to effectively turn around. HCTV speaks to Bridget Beattie and Scott Ahlstrand of Right Management for the dos and don'ts surrounding employee engagement surveys and programmes. 

Video transcript below:

Bridget Beattie, General Manager, Right Management, AU & NZ

Bridget Beattie: Our research shows that it’s true that only about one in three is engaged. That doesn’t mean the balance is disengaged. A large proportion of what we would call not engaged. They are the swing versions. So those are the people that really should be targeting with a good employee engagement survey.

[Problem is] in any organisation will be a very small number who are truly disengaged. And they are pretty hard to turnaround. But otherwise everybody who is disengaged, is disengaged for a reason. Of course the organisation has done or not done something, that is causing that disengagement. The power of the engagement survey is to find out what’s causing it and then to target actions to address it. What we also know however is that a large number of organisations use pretty average looking employee engagement surveys which is not a good way to actually help those, not engaged employees think that this is all an engaging process.

Scott Ahlstrand, Senior VP of Talent Management, Right Management, US

Scott Ahlstrand: For starters I think you have to build trust. So you have to make sure that the program is seen as being non-punitive and out for the greater good for all. Because employees should be invested in employee engagement, they benefit from that process. Once I create a trust, then I would make sure that I was asking the right questions and too often I think organisations put the round peg of the organisation in the square peg of the companies they work with, rather than creating the perfect survey for themselves, their context, their environment and then finally ultimately, senior leadership and your performance management must support the engagement program both in reward and in recognition.

Because most disengaged workers are not born, they are made and they are made through bad management or a bad organisation. So we absolutely can address those issues that drove disengagement, but more importantly for most organisations is looking at that great in between, they are not disengaged, they are not engaged, they are swing voters in the campaign to drive out comes from engagement. And that’s who we put a lot of our effort against.

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