Throughout my career I have always been an advocate of employee engagement. Ensuring that the work environment encourages everyone to deliver their best; the right way; is important to me.

In the early days of my career, it might have been created unknowingly. However, as I have gained experience and developed my knowledge I have been able to create a culture, which is aligned with delivering the values of the business. Through identifying and developing the right behaviours, it has led to my teams delivering continuous improvement, year on year; across all KPIs.

I am not going to try and come across as a guru on Employee Engagement but what I do know is that for success to be delivered, you need to have your team aligned and working towards a common goal. How each person contributes may differ but it all adds up to it delivering the end result.

You want an environment where people want to come to work; a place which is inclusive and where individuals are empowered to make decisions. A business which offers career progression and recognises individuals for their hard work.

Each of my General Managers is challenged to create this environment. One which delivers the best results the right way. On the whole this is delivered. I am not going to say that everything is perfect – it’s not. There is always going to be an unforeseen factor which impacts on your business. What is important is how you react and learn from it. Furthermore there are times when individuals are not performing. Straight talking and honest conversations are required. Performance management needs to be effective. I learnt early in my career that if you don’t resolve an individual whose performance is poor, it is unfair on those who are performing and will disengage the team. As I say, not everything can be rosy all the time.

I know I have great General Managers who support me. It is a team who strive to make their business the best it can be. This is reflected through year on year performance growth. I am not just talking about the financial numbers either. It ranges across all sorts of measures, from improved customer experience through to reduced employee turnover and sickness.  In particular it is always great to see promotion of individuals at all levels. This had only been achieved from an embedded commitment to succession planning.

As expected communication is the key to effectively moving information around the business. A structured approach is in place which utilises resources available. Supporting this though, is a network of communication channels which operates between the team. It encompasses social media and has created platforms which share best practice; offers support; recognise each other’s results and encourages healthy competition to be the best.

An inclusive, supportive culture which is working to deliver the best it can!

I am hoping that you found the above interesting. To be fair there will be loads of people who have written papers, used case studies and created theories about employee engagement. For me, it has been about learning from mistakes and developing my approach from the resources available.

What I do know is an engaged team will deliver improved results. It will surprise you and can challenge you. Engagement doesn’t happen overnight. You need to create the culture over time.  The workplace can be fun. Don’t be scared to let others identify solutions and make decisions. Finally make sure you follow through on your commitment. There is nothing worse than someone who just talks the talk!!