Businesses Should Focus On Engagement & Wellbeing

Engagement and wellbeing should become a focal point for companies that aim for sustainable performance, both in individual and business terms. This is the key outtake from a new white paper published by Engage for Success (E4S).

Evidence collected through the organisation’s research indicates that employee engagement and wellbeing are connected and they have a significant effect not only on employee performance but also on business results.

Firstly, employees need to be shown clearly the big picture for the company they work for, including its purposes and how their everyday efforts contribute to the achievement of corporate goals and the employees’ sense of personal accomplishment. Secondly, in order for employers to contribute to their workers’ wellbeing, they need to promote initiatives that show the company cares about its staff. There is a dire need to demonstrate that: over half of British employees feel that their company does not care about their wellbeing as long as they do their job, research by Investors in People has shown.

E4S says that major employers have contributed case studies and there is clear evidence of a strong relationship between workers’ wellbeing and their engagement with the company. There is a link between high engagement levels and wellbeing and both are “mutually reinforced” and crucial for the optimal performance of both the organisation and the employees.

The study was conducted by the E4S Wellbeing subgroup, which was established last August in response to strong interest in the topic. The report was compiled over the course of six months, drawing on academic publications, consultancy research and corporate case studies.

Businesses Should Take Action To Improve Staff Health

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Businesses that take measures to improve the health and wellbeing of their workers see a wide array of benefits, among them higher productivity, lower absence rates and more engaged staff, a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggests.

Companies wishing to bring staff health and wellbeing to the next level can choose from a range of options, the study suggests. They could, for instance, develop health and wellbeing programmes that take into account emerging public health trends, take a proactive and preventative approach to health and wellbeing to influence staff behaviour, teach managers how to deal with health conditions and adopt a robust system to manage absence.

Having healthy staff is critical for a successful business, according to Neil Carberry, director of employment and skills at the CBI. Many companies are now embarking on initiatives that focus on health management and promote staff resilience the way they already do on managing absence and safety, he added.

Such measures not only keep employees healthy and happy, but also boost their engagement and increase their productivity. This in turn has a favourable impact on revenues and product quality, Carberry said.

Staff wellbeing and health have much to do with business objectives, commented Louise Aston, director of Workwell at BITC. Those that are doing it well enjoy more sustainable and better performance, she added.

The time has come for organisations and the government to work together in an effort to shift from a reactive to proactive approach on health and wellbeing, Carberry concluded.

Employee Engagement Grows In 2013, But Millennials Still Lag Behind

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Worker engagement keeps growing on a global level, but millennials still lag behind other employees in terms of commitment to their organisation’s goals and values, a study from Aon Hewitt shows.

According to the consultancy’s Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, employees internationally are becoming more engaged overall, with levels increasing slightly from 60% in 2012 to 61% last year. This increase, albeit modest, builds on the uptrend witnessed in the previous research, which showed a three percentage point uptick in employee engagement between 2011 and 2012.

The research suggests that a large percentage of workers are growing more ambitious and highly mobile at their workplace, with companies encouraging such behaviour now expected to see higher engagement levels. However, younger employees still seem less engaged with their work than older colleagues. Baby boomers, for instance, deliver engagement levels above the average and they currently they stand at 66%. In the case of millennials, however, the rate is much lower, at 56%.

Younger employees are more likely to seek to progress to a better job and companies should strive to find ways to meet their expectations in order to improve engagement levels among this demographic. It is HR departments’ task to enhance the value proposition of their company for workers and to present effectively the opportunities that arise.

Workers globally are very similar, says Dr Ken Oehler, global engagement practice leader at Aon Hewitt. He claims that, generally, employees want to be part of a company that offers incentives for their performance, provides career opportunities and has a favourable image. Yet there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieve this, according to Oehler.

In order for companies to make employee engagement happen, they first need to understand their workers and what motivates them. After that, they need to adapt communication to properly fit the requirements of each group, he added.

Employee engagement was found to be the strongest among workers at senior organisational levels, with the highest percentage among executives and senior managers, at 75%.

Top Tips When Looking For A New Employee

They’re a rare commodity: top notch employees. Whatever the role or industry, valuable workers will always be in demand. But what are the basic traits you look for when looking for a new employee?

While it’s all very well saying “I’ll know who’s right for the position when I meet them”, it’s highly recommended to have a list of five to ten qualities you’re looking for in advance. Interview someone who ticks all the boxes and you have that ‘gut feeling’? Three words of advice: snap them up.

But what are these qualities we speak of? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Do they have the right attitude? Skills can be taught, but it’s nearly impossible to instil a personality into someone who doesn’t have one. When you think about your favourite clients or suppliers, for example, who springs to mind? Likeliness is it’s the ones who are outgoing, friendly and inject a bit of ‘fun’ into your day. Long-term professional relationships form with people who like each other. Remember, though: employees must be able to have fun but also know when it’s time to stop monkeying around.

Have they asked you for a job? While prospective employees don’t usually come knocking at your door, if someone does approach you in a targeted way and they’ve done their homework, you should definitely consider them. They’re obviously motivated enough to make the first move, they use their initiative and they love your company almost as much as you do.

Tell us about your experiences; has anyone ever asked you for a job?

Are they in it for the long haul?Training new employees can be an expensive and time-consuming process, so you want to look for someone who is after something long-term. Does their C.V. reflect this? Have they flitted from one job to another or do they hold their positions down for long periods of time? People who are passionate about what they do tend to stay at companies longer than those who simply work for a pay packet.

Do they reflect your company’s culture? Every business has its own unique culture – the way that people interact and behave with one another. This culture is based on certain expectations, values and policies. You need to make sure your new employee shares these; those who don’t can end up causing problems.

Are they capable? While we can’t stress enough the importance of personality and compatibility, a new employee must also be capable of their tasks – both the easy and more challenging ones. An ideal worker will not only be able to complete them efficiently but also show potential for growth; this means the willingness and ability to take on more responsibility.

When looking for the perfect employee, don’t settle for someone mediocre. Here are a few things we look out for when hiring – do you have any points you could add to our list?

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