May Day: It’s about employee engagement

Just back to work after the long weekend feeling refreshed and full of energy.  Did you ever wonder about the reason or the history behind this bank holiday? Traditional May Day was celebrated to hail in the new season however since the late 1880’s it has become known as International Workers Day or Labor Day.

On the 4th May in 1886 a peaceful process in Chicago turned into a riot when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police.  The workers were striking for an 8 hour day.  The bomb resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and four civilians. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy.  The identity of the bomber was never established.  Four were hanged, one committed suicide in prison, and the others received life sentences. The workers did not get an 8 hour day. This was not established in the US until 1916 under The United States Adamson Act.

In those days we did not engage with employees. We have come a long way since then but are we engaging our employees or not.  A recent study completed by Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, concluded that companies are still struggling to engage our modern 21st century workforce. The study was conducted in the last quarter of 2013 and included 2,532 business and HR leaders in 94 countries. The goal of the survey was to understand the priorities of HR professionals around the world.

The results of this survey indicate that the top priority are:

  1. Leadership – 86% of all business surveyed do not believe there is an adequate leadership pipeline.  This ongoing need to develop leaders is driven by the evolving challenges of globalisation and the speed of technology change.
  2. Retention and Engagement – 79% believe that we have a significant retention and engagement problem.  We are still not engaging or listening.
  3. Right HR Skills – 75% felt that we do not have the HR skills to address the issues.
  4. Talent Acquisition – 76% are struggling to attract and recruit the top people they need.
  5. We are not listening to our employees, we are not engaging with them. Just like the 1890’s.

 

By listening we could learn as to who is interested in leadership, we could retain and engage more employees, we could learn what are the right HR skills and we could attract more people because we would have a happy and engaged workforce.

In order to engage our employees we must listen. Engaged employees have a higher level of commitment to the company, perform better, and are less likely to leave the organisation.

Regular feedback is key to engaging employees. A good performance management system will give your managers a process for regular feedback. It gives the employee a sense of what the company’s goals are and how they can contribute to them. Engage employees by listening to them and providing feedback and you will become a better manager.

By implementing a good performance management system you will actively listen to your employees and therefore making them more engaged with your company.

 

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