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The big story: Best practice engagement drivers

Employee engagement has been demonstrated as a key element in taking companies to the next level of success. Yet, with Australian employers as a whole traditionally struggling with engagement, what needs to be done to improve the situation? Sue Jackson, executive chairman of Solterbeck, says survey tools such as the Gallup Q12 have definitively outlined the key areas of engagement, including job satisfaction, and relationships with peers and managers. She also notes that reward & recognition is increasingly being used to keep staff motivated and engaged – but peer to peer recognition is crucial. Dean Sappey, HR director, Frucor Australia, outlines his company’s engagement journey, and says the key is a direct approach with clear communication. Denise Moore, general manager, people & culture at Medibank Health Solutions, faces a different challenge: keeping her company’s 600+ work-from-home employees engaged.

 

Video transcript below:

 

Clare Costigan, HC Online

Clare Costigan:  Hello I am Clare Costigan.  You are watching the big story on HC Online. Attracting and retaining staff is vital, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle for HR professionals.  Employee engagement is proving to be key to taking companies to the next level.  Sue Jackson from Solterbeck says one of the benchmark measurements of Employee Engagement is the Gallop Q12 Survey.
 
Sue Jackson, Solterbeck
Sue Jackson:  Gallop Q12 Survey has definitively put down what the key areas of engagement are.  Around job satisfaction, about learning and development, relationship with peers, relationship with your manager.
 
Clare Costigan:  So how does a company go about effectively engaging staff.  Dean Sappey from Frucor says it’s important to take a direct approach and communicate with employees regularly.
 
Dean Sappey, Frucor
Dean Sappey:  In terms of the way we have set strategy and communicated strategy, we have really had strong feedback from our, from our teams that they actually liked that, particularly the communication placed around strategy.  I am sensing that our people like us having an open and ongoing dialogue about where we are in terms of our strategy.
 
Clare Costigan:  Reward and recognition is being used more and more by employers to keep staff motivated.  Sue Jackson from Solterbeck says reward programs are often straight forward.
Sue Jackson:  We want increased discretionary behaviour performance of our staff and we want to engage them.  So with a sales incentive for example we understand that reward is most typically something like the ipad or an experience or going away on an incentive travel.
 
Clare Costigan:  But when it comes to recognising staff there are many ways to acknowledge a staff member’s efforts.  Sue Jackson from Solterbeck explains.
 
Sue Jackson:  It is mandatory for any company to have a peer recognition program as mandatory as it is for them to have a payroll division with their company.  We know that engagement, high engagement leads to profit and success.  
 
Clare Costigan:  Modern technology means that employees aren’t always in the office environment. Denise Moore from Medibank says communicating is the key to employee engagement and it doesn’t necessarily have to be face to face.
 
Denise Moore, Medibank
Denise Moore:  It is interesting in our last employee engagement survey, the work at home team, we probably have about 600 people, so we do measure those as a discrete group of people, actually ranked higher in almost all categories than the office based people.  So and things like you know supervisor relations, information sharing, that sort of ownership of goals, do they understand their roles, their goals and objectives.  So it’s obviously working.
 
Clare Costigan:  For more on engaging staff and other HR issues, click around HC Online.  I am Clare Costigan, I will see you again soon with the Big Story.