Thursday 16 July 2009

Engaging staff.....and parties

A sluggish start to the day owing to the high jinks at the ACEVO birthday and media party. Champagne flowing into the early hours courtesy of our friends, The Strand Partners, in their stunning Mayfair office. The ACEVO staff know how to party.... including our glamorous Head of Media whose stilettos were fighting a losing battle with the decking of the rooftop.

But I had to be up early for the launch of the McLeod Review of employee engagement. The Report "Engaging for success" argues strongly for effective strategies to achieve engaged employees. To read the Report click here. Nita Clarke was the Vice Chair of the Review - she wrote a powerful report for ACEVO on the sector and trade unions.

I have been asked by the Secretary of State to join what is described as a "sponsor group" for the Review. Tasked to ensure the recommendations are carried out. The Group is made up of some powerful figures like the Cabinet Secretary, the DGs of the CBI and IoD, Brendan Barber from the TUC, and Rona Fairhead CEO of the FT. I am flying the flag for our Third Sector.

The aim is to produce tools and advice to encourage engagement. We know this is crucial in our sector as we now employ 1.3m people. At a time when member Chief Executives know that recession and spending cuts pose challenges to maintaining staff levels we need to put extra resource and effort into engaging staff.

When we have to implement cuts or redundancies this will demotivate unless there has been strong involvement from staff - maybe through a union where these are involved - or through consultative mechanisms. Some CEOs think that this is so difficult its better not to involve staff. But people come to work in our sector mainly because of a commitment to the cause. So being up front with your problems is the best approach. Staff are better at coping with bad news than we sometimes think! Relentless communication at all times, but especially in bad ones is key.

The Report says:

"Engaged organisations have strong values,with clear evidence of trust and fairness based on mutual respect , where two way promises and commitments- between employers and staff-are understood and are fulfilled. "

It's a useful reminder to me a day before we have our bi annual staff Awayday. I'm doing an overview of the business and then we are talking "customer care". And as we are a jolly lot we are then going rowing! You need employee engagement for rowing. Though the CEO will be cox- leading strategically but letting others do the physical work!


Unknown said...

Faulty hyperlink in there, you need to take the letters ''out.

Anonymous said...

"Though the CEO will be cox- leading strategically but letting others do the physical work! "

Not one to pull your weight then, nor one to share the workload.

Much easier sitting back relaxing of other peoples hard work isnt it.

At least you seem consistent at work and play...

Janet F said...

I suspect Stephen is far too polite to respond(or more likely, can't be bothered). You've clearly never seen him at work; much younger members of his team have been heard to complain about the pace at which he works (and works them, of course), albeit he focuses more on the cerebral, conversational and networking activity than doing the 'get down and dirty' stuff.
Still, not sure I'd fancy working at his pace (nor for him!).