Improving Employee Engagement

The Challenge

Cabot Financial Management needed to focus the organisation on its new strategy and business goals after a merger and restructuring. Employee uncertainty following the merger was clearly reflected in the dramatically low scores in their employee engagement survey, so the Group HR Director and the executive team were clear that they needed to provide people with a clear line of sight about the future of the new company and drive engagement and trust in the business. After a six month ‘pulse-check’ they realised that despite a great deal of effort in developing an employee engagement strategy, employees were still not feeling connected with line managers, business goals or the vision of the company. The challenge was to address these needs without undoing the entire engagement strategy.

The Solution

Working with the Group HRD and the HR community the starting point was to create a clear, company-wide understanding of how employee engagement operates and its role in business performance. Starting with a strategy workshop for the HR community and developing tools to engage senior managers, a framework was developed to enable the organisation to appreciate how the fundamental pillars of employee engagement actually operate in the workplace. Here they discovered how Trust, Emotional Connection, Climate and more importantly Ownership are the golden rules of employee engagement.

This event was quickly followed by the design and deployment of a top down, series of workshops over a day and an evening in which groups of senior managers explored their own personal drivers of engagement and equipped themselves with skills and tactics to be able to deliver inspiring and compelling messages to their work teams. Run totally as experiential events from the start, the workshops provided a viseral connection with personal relationships at work and the role of the immediate boss in fostering trust, emotional connection and workplace climate. Team leaders from a senior level down, were also provided with a self-managed tool to handover ownership of engagement to employees themselves, creating a programme to sustain the initial impetus. This was supported with tools and resources that enables leaders and managers to continue to build with their teams high levels of engagement using a consistent framework that links to their wider organisational surveys.

At the front-line Team leaders also participated in an experiential programme that enabled them to ‘feel’ employee engagement rather than learn about it cognitively. A central tool they then deployed to their teams was Pulse-Check, an on-line, self-service, instrument using a continuous panelling approach to gauge the extent of engagement exists at the team level; the true engine of employee engagement.

Follow-up Re-connect sessions have ingrained the development work and fully integrated the capability build into the organisations wider employee engagement strategy. The company now has an organisation-wide tool to enable team members to diagnose and take ownership for their own levels of engagement. This is supported with a ‘Managers Toolkit’ and additional resources that have help to sustain the significant initial results.

Results

Initial findings show that employees feel more connected to business goals and a sense of participation, inclusion and engagement is growing. teams are reporting that they feel more certain about the business future and want to be part of the new organisation. Business results are also looking promising at a departmental level, showing improvements in productivity KPI’s. All the key operational performance indicators of the business have shown a significant spike in the months following the workshops and he 2013 moral survey results has shown a rise. The company was named in the Sunday Times 100 Best Place to Work survey and has won the coverted Gold Status in the Investors In People awards.

The business has grown considerably and has completed a recent acquisition and grown off-shore operations. Cabot are now in partnership with us in looking to sustain high levels of employee engagement and deliver even greater business results.

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