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If only we had asked the staff …

Business talk with Steve Elsom, January 2021

Have you ever wondered what could happen to your business IF everyone were engaged, motivated and energised? Could a fully engaged team provide you with more insight, more innovation, greater productivity and ultimately more growth?

If the answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’, and you don’t currently capture feedback about how your team feel – you are probably missing out.

Back in the day when asking the staff ‘how they felt’ was a new phenomenon, the surveys were clunky, onerous and annual! Clunky in so much that the survey had to be completed in hard copy and mailed back to a central post box. I often wondered whether someone in that central post box might recognise my writing, so I always used to disguise my responses with a coloured pen and block letters – it just goes to show the cynicism and mistrust that ‘anything would actually change’ as a result of completing the survey. They were onerous in so much that they often comprised of over 50 questions, some which seemed obscure to the part of the business that I worked in at the time. And annual!? Well it was a start…but

show me a business that only wants to hear from its employees once a year, and I’ll show you a business that is missing out.

That was then…this is now – the age of inclusivity, diversity and transparency.

Of course, today’s surveys are online, more secure, slicker by nature and can focus just on the area of business that I work in. Therefore, they are more relevant. Additionally, they are now circulated quarterly, with ‘lite versions’ in between the more comprehensive versions. Much more relevant, more consistent and more useful to me (as the employee) and to the business.

So, if these ‘value adding’ programmes are so useful, why do so few businesses adopt them? In my experience, you don’t need to be John Lewis, Barclays Bank or Sainsburys to capture the value here . . . any business or organisation (yes, charities can play, too), will see the benefit of not just having a better engaged team, but seeing what that can do for the business. It might help retain the best staff and it might help attract new talent. It might help deliver ‘happier’ clients and it might enable you to grow your business, grow your brand and achieve your goals.

A simple ‘staff engagement’ programme will deliver the feedback, create signature actions and encourage advocacy and follow up. I’ve seen Engagement Ambassadors appointed to help maintain momentum, promote the culture, exchange ideas across the business and form new liaisons through regular dialogue within a cohort of likeminded Ambassadors. And what was really encouraging was the open invitation for that Engagement Ambassador cohort to attend a quarterly main Board meeting to share views, outcomes and opinions.

So if you employ five or more staff and you want to engage your team to grow your business, there is a way and it’s simple, sustainable and it will deliver results.

If you would like to book a free review for your business and see where it might take you, please do get in touch.

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Steve is a regular contributor to B2B publications, see some of his recent articles for insights into current business news, leadership and much more...