RSA Chief Executive’s Lecture: What does it mean to be a citizen at work? 

In partnership with Engage for Success, and supported by wates giving, Matthew Taylor of the Royal Society of Arts delivered a lecture on Monday 11th November 2013.

The lecture was chaired by David Macleod, respondent as Wendy Cartwright, with closing remarks by Nita Clarke addressing the question: What does it mean to be a citizen at work?

In 1992 the RSA’s Commission of Inquiry into Tomorrow’s Company looked at what makes a company a good citizen. This led to the establishment of Tomorrow’s Company as an independent, global think-tank that addresses “systemic and behavioural questions” in business. Employee engagement features in their thinking, sometimes in different terms than the employee engagement movement might use, but still addressing the benefits in innovation, collaboration and performance that follow from positive employee engagement.

The RSA’s interest in the notion of employees as citizens in the workplace is not surprising. In fact it’s part of one of the longest-standing and most systematic commitments to improving individual, organisational and social progress anywhere in the world. In his 2013 Chief Executive’s Lecture, Matthew Taylor set out to focus on “good employment” as something that ought to be “available to all employees”.

Engage for Success co-founder David MacLeod began by highlighting things that the engagement movement has achieved and, more importantly, what is yet to be done. Does it matter, he asked, that only one in three UK employees describe themselves as ‘engaged’? The research shows that it does, if you want higher growth and productivity, better employee retention and well-being. In hospitals where engagement scores go down, eight months later mortality rates go up. “Engagement scores do correlate with organisational outcomes,” he concluded, and that can be a matter of life or death.

Watch the whole event below

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Report by Ezri Carlebach FIIC FRSA

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