Knowledge Source

How is Lack of Engagement Impacting on Performance and Retention?

Increasingly we are hearing from clients that employee engagement, or lack of it, is the most pressing issue in organisations. Recent surveys have found that only 21% of employees feel strongly that they are valued in their workplace and that this impacts on the energy and commitment they give to their role. The negative effect of lack of engagement is often obvious and will show in a number of ways: Poor individual and team performance Failure to retain the best people Difficulty attracting the best people Inability to Maximise the Performance of individuals and teams With this in mind we thought we would share with you the story of Dave. Dave is a Deliberate Amalgamation of Various Experiences we have encountered working with clients in the area of Employee Engagement. Dave's Story Dave had spent a good part of the Easter weekend reflecting on the results of yet another poor employee engagement survey. The results were poor but even more concerning was the 1:1 meeting he had with Harry Sorensen his line manager and Regional Director. Harry had picked out a few points that he wanted Dave to start working on immediately: You need to get to know your staff...

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Lifting the Lid on Employee Engagement – What is it and how can we improve it?

Gallup defines employee engagement as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” Gallup likens employee engagement to a positive employees’ emotional attachment and commitment. It is therefore unsurprising that when I attended the L&D Summit in London this year Employee Engagement was top of the list of priorities. Why does it matter now more than ever? The simple answer is that in today’s environment there has never been such an enormous amount of change: political change, economic change, social change and technological change are all at the highest levels for a generation. When organisations understand and acknowledge the impact of these changes, they are compelled to react to them and change their own working practices. Feeling the pain of change fatigue As we all know, change can be difficult for us as our natural tendency is to want to stay as we are as this feels more comfortable. When I am working with clients I hear them say things like, “our employees are suffering from change fatigue” or “we have changed our strategy but we now need to take our people with us”. The fact of the matter is that in today’s world...

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What Is the Real Cost of Workplace Conflict?

Business Impact Workplace Conflict can have a hugely negative impact on organisations. The CBI estimates that it costs UK business £33 billion per year, taking up 20% of leadership time and potentially losing up to 370 million working days. Personal Impact There is also the personal impact to consider, as conflict, if not managed well, can lead to destructive anxiety and stress for individuals. This week it is Mental Health Awareness Week and there are some worrying statistics that have been highlighted. A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem. More than four in 10 people say they have experienced depression and over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks. 33% of UK workers regularly experience sleepless nights due to stress. What is conflict? The word conflict is used in the English language to describe too wide a range of issues, from simple disagreements to bitter and destructive patterns in relationships and war between countries. Therefore, I use Porter’s definition of conflict, “When a person is faced with a situation that threatens their sense of self-worth or value” (Porter 1996). I use...

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Want a Great Place to Work?
Focus on What Matters Most

Fortune Magazine partners every year with an organisation called Great Places to Work to identify the 100 best companies to work for in America, and this year was no exception. What was exceptional and worthy of every executive’s careful attention is that the key to creating a great workplace has remained the same for more than 30 years. It's not lavish perks like free, gourmet food, well-equipped fitness centres, or onsite childcare. Instead, according to Fortune, it’s something far more basic, the essence of every company’s culture. Have you guessed what it is? In a word: relationships. “It’s personal—not perkonal,” Geoff Colvin wrote in the March 5, 2015 issue of Fortune. “It’s relationship-based, not transaction-based.” This isn’t a random assertion; it is supported by data and driven by demographics. In the 1950s, the most valuable employees were knowledge workers. Now, knowledge is ubiquitous. It’s a global commodity; Google can hire a knowledgeable coder in Mumbai, just as easily as Mountain View. No doubt, certain left-brain skills are still important, but superior relational skills are what set the best apart from the rest. Some forward thinking companies even measure the state of relationships. Take SAS, the Cary, North Carolina-based analytics company...

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Andragogy 101: Six Keys to Engaging Your Clients

Some words are much better off when put into practice than when used in casual conversation. Take, for instance, andragogy. It’s not a word you want to drop on friends during a dinner party. Enemies, maybe, but not friends. Sounds a bit like a disease you’d want to avoid. Andragogy, however, plays a critical part of nearly every TotalSDI consultant’s practice and is a key driver of their success. Believe it or not, you already may be a natural at applying the principles—but let’s make sure you’re covering all the bases. Andragogy refers to the theory of how adults learn. Unlike most children, adults learn best when they’re actively engaged in a process that lets them incorporate their experiences and readily apply what they’re learning to their lives. Instead of being buried with information, adults want to discover new ideas for themselves. Malcolm Knowles, generally considered the father of andragogy, identified six assumptions in the andragogical model, and you can put to use in your coaching or consulting practice (not to mention during dinner parties): Uncover the need to know. Adults need to know why they need to learn something before they will invest in the learning process. In short,...

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Three Steps for Sharing the Word about TotalSDI

One of the most important factors in sustaining training beyond its euphoric beginning is to set clear expectations before you even begin. I touched on this in a previous post – see “Need to Keep Your Training Alive? Start with the Why.” – and now, as promised, it’s time to look a little more specifically at how to share the why with your clients. As a coach or consultant, you may be called on to lead pre-training conversations with workshop participants, or you might coach managers on how to do it. With that in mind, here are three steps to leading an effective pre-training conversation. Step 1: Address Why TotalSDI is Needed. Your organisation needs to achieve…, so teams need to get better at… Your organisation is investing in TotalSDI training because… so we need you to put what you learn in the class into action right away. Step 2: Address How TotalSDI will Help. Let’s discuss how TotalSDI can help you get better results… What do you want to focus on? You’ll want to identify some definitive actions you will take to address a real world situation based on your assessment results and what you learn in class. Let’s...

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Need to Keep Your Training Alive? Start with the Why

One of the first things our partners hear from clients after launching a new programme with TotalSDI is, “That was awesome!” Then comes the big question … “So how do we keep the message alive?” Ah, yes, sustainability … or, as I like to call it, the 800-pound gorilla. Unfortunately, research suggests that most training doesn’t create a lasting impact. Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff, an internationally recognised expert in training effectiveness and author of eight books in the field, estimates that less than 50 percent of training and development initiatives result in sustained behaviour change that aligns with organisational performance improvement goals. Fortunately, TotalSDI provides a suite of tools that are designed to create sustainable training that tips the scales of Brinkerhoff’s research in favour of success for your clients. Why? First, TotalSDI assessments are easy to take and the results are intuitively accurate for the people who take them. In other words, they buy in because the results align with what they know about themselves and the world around them. Second, the personalised assessment reports are easy to understand and provide a simple, common language that teams can use for weeks, months, and years. As a consultant or coach, however,...

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