Improving employee engagement is the only way the UK will achieve the transformation in productivity levels it so urgently needs, says CBI President Paul Drechsler.
Speaking at the Engage for Success annual conference in Westminster on Monday 17 October 2016, Paul said: “With UK productivity second from bottom of the G7, employee engagement is now more crucial than ever to driving productivity. But here too there’s a problem: of the world’s 12 largest economies, the UK ranks ninth for levels of engagement.
“Raising engagement isn’t about slapping another zero on the budget for the staff Christmas party. It’s a complex process which takes time and hard work over many years.”
Diversity and inclusion is an important part of raising engagement, emphasised Paul. This is highlighted in a new report entitled ‘Time For Action: The Business Case for Inclusive Workplaces’, published by the CBI on 17 October.
Added Paul: “For a step change in productivity you have to have a step change in employee engagement. Can we afford not to do it? Of course we can’t.”
Nita Clarke, founder and co-chair of the government-sponsored, industry-led movement Engage for Success, told the conference that employee engagement is more important than ever in the face of Brexit: “The answer is getting people together and having honest conversations about uncertainty.”
With a theme of ‘Engage by Design’, the conference offered delegates plenty of practical examples of how to overcome the barriers to raising engagement. Speakers included John Neill, Chairman and Group Chief Executive,Unipart Group; Rupert McNeil, Chief People Officer, Civil Service; and David Littlechild, Head of Culture and Engagement, Lloyds Banking Group.
Engage for Success has established more than 20 Thought and Action Groups (TAGs) to tackle some of the challenges around engagement. The TAGs are conducting research and creating free toolkits based on their findings. Dr Sarah Pass, Chair of the Line Manager TAG, called on more organisations and individuals to get involved in the TAGs. You can find out more information on the TAG pages of the Engage For Success website.
Check the Engage For Success website for speaker notes and other information from the 2016 conference, which will be made available shortly.
Sue Kiddy, Managing Editor at Headlines – The Internal Communications Agency