Employers need to fully understand employee engagement to benefit from the increased productivity and loyalty it engenders, an HR expert has said.
Peter Thomson, author of Future Work and director of Wisework, will chair the Engagement Innovation Summit in London next month. He told Flexible Boss that some employers make the mistake of thinking extra benefits, a pay increase or free coffee can shortcut to an engaged workforce. “Sometimes engagement is treated a bit mechanistically,” he said. “Engagement is about making employees feel involved, respected and valued, it’s not to do with nice, comfortable working conditions.”
Thomson added that there is a direct link between engagement and flexibility in terms of the autonomy that employees need to be most engaged and productive. “People with relatively repetitive work can still be engaged if they are given some autonomy and treated like adults. If someone can choose where or how they do their job then they feel in control of it and engaged.
“You need a culture that comes from the top where people are valued, their ideas are respected and listened to, and there is genuine delegation of power and authority to individuals.”
Twenty of the world’s top human resource professionals will join the two-day summit to debate the issues of employee engagement on 25th and 26th February, including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Google, Mars, Barclays, IBM and HP. It aims to address some of the key problems that HR professionals are facing, such as how best to build their global employer brand, manage a multi-generational workforce, and nurture and retain talent.
Coca-Cola Enterprises vice president of HR Carl Saunders will be discussing the top five ways to battle communication problems between generations, and showcasing methods to help organisations cope with the differences in values and expectations among their workforce.
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