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Legislation now makes employee engagement a boardroom issue


As many of you will know, UK busi­ness­es of a cer­tain size have report­ing require­ments relat­ed to employ­ee engage­ment and rep­re­sen­ta­tion. In a nut­shell, the reg­u­la­tions refer to Direc­tors’ Reports, which now need to make clear:

  • How the direc­tors used or reflect­ed employ­ee inter­ests when mak­ing busi­ness decisions.
  • How the direc­tors have engaged with their employees.
  • What impact those inter­ac­tions have had on busi­ness decisions.

This is inspired by ongo­ing efforts by the gov­ern­ment to improve employ­ee voice in the board­room (and per­haps a response to the ever-widen­ing gap between exec­u­tive and work­er pay). It doesn’t apply to every­one: you need to have at least 250 employ­ees and either a turnover in excess of £36 mil­lion annu­al­ly, or a bal­ance sheet that exceeds £18 million.

Here’s why we should all be delight­ed by this.

First of all, more con­ver­sa­tions can only be a good thing. Yes, we would say that, because we believe that more con­ver­sa­tions are almost always a good thing. But the num­bers back us up: feed­back helps us to improve and devel­op; the more we talk, the more trust and can­dour we cre­ate, which improves work­ing rela­tion­ships; under­stand­ing people’s needs in an ongo­ing way (and act­ing on them) improves work engage­ment, which improves per­for­mance, which in turn improves pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and profitability. 

The key is to use the feed­back you cap­ture to improve work out­comes. It’s a top­ic we have explored else­where but, in short, work engage­ment is the key dri­ver of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Ask the right ques­tions; cap­ture engage­ment data in a con­tin­u­ous way (to ensure that your results aren’t dis­tort­ed by per­son­al ups and downs); demon­strate that you’re tak­ing action and that that action has a mean­ing­ful effect on work­ing process­es, resources and rela­tion­ships. Those things do more for employ­ee engage­ment than any num­ber of periph­er­al expe­ri­ences. They show a will­ing­ness to make work (not work­place expe­ri­ence) better. 

Most organ­i­sa­tions now run some sort of employ­ee engage­ment sur­vey or employ­ee feed­back pro­gramme. The mis­take many make is in not trans­lat­ing that data into mean­ing­ful action. The gov­ern­ment has come at the issue from the oth­er direc­tion, high­light­ing the impor­tance of employ­ee voice in an atmos­phere of accusato­ry head­lines around exec­u­tive remu­ner­a­tion. But whether organ­i­sa­tions are doing this because of good inten­tions or leg­is­la­tion, the oppor­tu­ni­ty remains the same: to boost per­for­mance by lis­ten­ing to their people. 

Improve employ­ee engagement

To dis­cov­er Clear Review’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary new think­ing on engage­ment, take a look at our col­lec­tion of resources on employ­ee engage­ment, includ­ing our pop­u­lar eBook on Pow­er­ing Per­for­mance with Engaged Employees.”

The key to employee engagement

Learn more about employee engagement from our collection of free resources. You'll discover how you can boost performance and productivity through improving employee engagement.

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