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Nigel Walpole Introducing ongoing engagement strategies into your organisation

The term ‘Employee Engagement’ emerged in the 1990s and, because of the perceived benefits, interest inevitably grew rapidly. Like many aspects of organisational development, interest and investment waned during the painful years of economic recession but we are now entering an exciting time for engagement application with the focus increasingly being on practical efforts being made.

During our discussions while researching for our whitepaper, we identified numerous strategies that organisations are pursuing. Some are commonplace across many organisations, other much more specific to an individual organisation.

All of this reinforces the fact that engagement strategies do need to be tailored to each organisation.

In this series of two blogs, I’ll be examining these examples: firstly examples where the emphasis is on engagement action by HR and L&D professional and secondly where the emphasis is on engagement action by managers and peers. And that is another important message – engagement is a partnership!

Of course no single model of engagement can be applicable across diverse organisations, but I hope these suggestions spark some ideas on how to improve engagement in your organisation.


Flexible working
Offer a wide range of flexible working policies - homeworking, shorter working weeks, annualised or compressed hours and term-time contracts – all aimed at providing as much ‘security of contract’ as possible.

Centrally conducted staff surveys and specific engagement surveys with published results and ‘engagement champions’ in place to interrogate the findings.

Recruitment and Induction
Specific internet sites for recruitment and induction with a real emphasis on rewards, employment benefits, development and career progression opportunities.

Performance Management
L&D focus on Performance management linked to comprehensive job descriptions - all aimed at supporting  managers in reviewing performance, dealing with poor performance, recognising and valuing performance that exceeds expectations.

Change Management
A similar L&D focus on change management – providing a ‘best practice toolkit’ for engaging staff whilst managing and communicating change.

A coaching scheme for staff for one-to-one personal and CPD development.

L&D Provisions
A root-and-branch review of learning and development provision to ensure true equality of access and opportunity – this is likely to identify alternative methods of learning provision.

Internal Opportunities
An ‘applying for your next internal post’ training programme  - evidencing competence and interviewee skills.

Career Development
A dedicated career development area on the L&D platform.

Work Related Stress
A policy or procedure for proactively managing work-related stress coupled with training for related to working and managing in stress provoking environments.

Occupational Health
Linked to the above, Occupational Health provision, health assessments, nutrition advice.

Employee Benefits
Consider offering gym facilities and cycle to work schemes.

A wide range of childcare friendly practices are available and can prove extremely beneficial.

Facility Management
A one-stop shop for all facilities – workstations, IT etc.

Engagement Focus Groups
Offering employee engagement focus groups can help your people feel involved in the organisation and how it affects them.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Social and charity initiatives, offering ‘paid volunteer days’.

Employee Awards
Star of the month and similar awards nominated by colleagues.

Recognition Rewards
A wide range of ‘recognition’ prizes and rewards – vouchers, anniversary (of joining) gifts, bonuses, extra time off and shares.

Succession Planning
Create plans and communicate them to successors.

Personal Development
Personal development outside work e.g. language training.

It is clear that many organisations are now really focussing on Employee Engagement, with the focus increasingly being on practical actions.

Some we encountered frequently, others were much more specific to an individual organisation.

In the second blog in this series, I’ll be examining examples where the emphasis is on engagement action by managers and peers.

I hope you have found this interesting.

For more information on employee engagement, sign up to download our whitepaper now.


Nigel Walpole

Nigel Walpole, MD, Bray Leino Learning

In my series of blogs I’ll talk through my thoughts on some of the key issues facing managers in the workplace - lessons learnt, tips for success and general musings.

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