Make a difference in 2018

January 10, 2018 Sam Dawson 2 Comments

Make a difference in 2018

We all hit the New Year with the best of intentions. We’re now a couple of weeks into 2018 and at that point where real life is taking over and obscuring the best of intentions we started the year with. Those intentions probably included restorative resolutions to improve your body and soul – more trips to the gym, making time for meditation and definitely no alcohol in January. I expect, like me, you may be crumbling a little. Resolutions are hard to keep because behavior change, at home or at work is hard, particularly if that means giving up things that feel pleasant.

Resolutions don’t need to feel difficult, unpleasant or even like hard work – here are our top 3 tips for making the first simple steps in enhancing the way you are looking at engagement and culture in 2018:

  • Be a human. Well, let’s start nice and easy. Engagement is all about a personal connection between an individual and the organisation they work for. Wherever people work, on a supermarket checkout, in an office or in a call centre, they want to feel they are connected to the bigger picture and will be recognised for their input. It is tempting for many organisations to invest in grand schemes around making the organizational strategy clearer for people or developing organisational employee recognition schemes. Our advice for 2018 is that the most immediate way to impact an employee’s experience is through their direct line manager. Equip managers to have great conversations with people, and watch the cultural benefits flow.
  • Talk to people. Most organisations conduct some form of employee engagement survey. Often that is a once a year exercise and is grounded in metrics that give us insight into potential employee turnover, commitment to the brand and the amount of ‘discretionary’ effort people are willing to put in, to name a few. There is a place for this data of course, but that is what it is, it’s data. Our advice for 2018 is not to confuse the collection of data with a conversation with people. If you want to have a conversation then talk to people, there are some great online platforms to help develop connections across businesses. Use them, throw some survey data into the mix and you’re on your way to making a real change.
  • Have a plan. Improvements in engagement and culture do not happen overnight, and they certainly don’t happen solely because of investment in technology or survey platforms. Our advice for 2018 is that whatever you do this year, remember that engagement is about relationships, and have a plan for how you’ll break that annual survey cycle to really make a difference for your people.

So, to make a difference in 2018, we all need to be a bit more human, talk to people and have a plan. Doesn’t seem too stretching a target for 2018 does it? Let’s get out there, try something different this year and look to make work a better place.


    January 19, 2018 REPLY

    After reading your blog posts, we decided to follow your second suggestion in the post and talk to people.

    The term Cultural Improvement is a riddle to us. Some would argue that “culture just is” and others would clearly disagree.

    What comes to our mind every time we’re discussing the subject is the role of Cultural Alignment. Is that what a “Good” or “Improved Culture” would look like; getting all members to agree on Values, Norms, and Cues?

    And what role does Employee Engagement play? Does Engagement mean Cultural Alignment or can Engagement also hamper performance if Alignment is missing?

    All the best for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions,
    Florian & Søren

    February 23, 2018 REPLY

    I’m glad the suggestion helped. In my opinion culture can be influenced, but cultures are unique to each and every organisation, both in their current state and what an improved culture might look like. A good way to start is to look at a cultural maturity model to assess where you are today and where you might want to get to. People being engaged (i.e. wanting to stay and do a great job) is an important part of that but by no means the only element that drives success. Hope that helps and good luck!

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