Last month I had the pleasure of chairing the Employee Engagement Summit – the first to be held virtually for delegates and speakers although I had the exciting task of hosting from a state of the art TV studio suggestive of Newsnight or Question Time.
So, donning my inner Emily or Fiona, but definitely no Paxman, I delivered some opening remarks the essence of which I’m sharing here with our EFS community.
Never Has Our Purpose Been More Important
Our purpose is inspiring people and workplaces to thrive – never has that been more important than now, wherever those workplaces may be and whatever format they may take.
Recent months have pushed the ‘people agenda’ to the fore with a clear recognition of the importance of so much that we talk about at Engage for Success.
Many reports suggest that engagement levels have gone up as employers have communicated more frequently, more effectively and proactively sought to support and involve their people better – although commentators are expressing caution as to how sustainable this will be, whether fatigue will set in, whether resilience will dip.
In recent months there’s been no shortage of inspiring stories of organisations and businesses who have worked hard, in the face of challenges many of us have never seen in our lifetimes, to keep their people front and centre, to support their line managers, to equip their senior teams to lead with humanity and clear purpose.
The challenge now is what lies ahead.
Will the value and importance of putting people at the heart of business thinking continue to be realised, embraced and built upon?
Or will looming economic crisis and potentially catastrophic levels of unemployment put at risk the real progress that’s been made in recent years?
Will a workforce scattered, working from home, detached from their teams and managers become increasingly isolated, unskilled and overlooked?
I am largely optimistic, but only if we maintain our focus. Even if external factors, and maybe internal commercial pressures too, make it hard to do so. Don’t forget speakers and organisations at the centre of events, conferences and LinkedIn posts are very often the shining lights, the tip of the engagement iceberg. What is happening below the waterline?
Commit Ourselves and Our Organisations
So let’s all of us, commit ourselves and our organisations to preserve and build on the great progress we’ve made. To hold our businesses and our senior teams to account, to lead responsibly and keep our people and their engagement front and centre in our decision making.
Share the evidence that putting people at the heart of our businesses, is the only course for a sustainable, productive and profitable future for our organisations, our colleagues and ourselves.
Inspiring people and workplaces to thrive.