Cathy Brown: Employee engagement enables growth of individuals and organisations

Cathy Brown

We all get more out of going to work if the organisations we work for have an engaging culture, a philosophy that there is a ‘better way to work’.

There are four factors that are present in high-performing organisations with highly engaged employees: they have a clear story about the organisation and strategy. Articulated in human terms, this means they develop engaging managers, who trust their staff and treat them as individuals; they role model the organisation’s values in everyday behaviour, and employees are able to speak out and influence the organisation. They have a voice.

While the world of working is changing around us, due to pressures caused by technological and societal change, what we as people want from a job remains constant. We want purpose in our work, we want to develop, we want to feel part of the organisation we work for and we want to feel heard and acknowledged. And we like to be part of something successful.

The best way to find out about engagement levels within an organisation is simply to ask. That might be as simple as chatting with a colleague as you make a cup of tea, right up to as complicated as a fully featured engagement survey performed on a regular basis. The point is that [as an employer] you are not assuming that people are happy. You are finding out whether they are or not, and sorting out things that get in the way.

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We, as employees, as leaders and as employers, have a responsibility to challenge ourselves and our organisations to find better ways to work in order to enable growth for ourselves, our organisations and the economies and societies that we live and work in.

Cathy Brown is executive director at Engage for Success