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Podcast Notes: Research Matters - Employee Engagement

In a recent episode of Mercer's Research Matters podcast, host Bruce Lee (yes, that's his real name) speaks with data-driven HR consultant Peter Rutigliano about what employee engagement means in 2018. With 25+ years of looking at employee engagement and feedback from over 1 million employees, it's clear that Peter has the data to back up what he's talking about.

[2:30] - The energy sector has been slow to embrace change

Does this sound familiar to your industry? If not, surely you can at least relate from the perspective of a Learning & Development professional.

[3:50] - Don’t look at the relationship with employees as transactional

This one is probably obvious to you, but in order to keep employees happy - heck, let's just stick with "keep employees" - it's important to develop a relationship with employees. Show that you're listening to them, and you get loyalty, increased retention, and even improvements in productivity and safety.

[5:35] - “Eventually children want to grow up and leave the house”

Feedback here and there is okay, but how about an ongoing two-way conversation? It shouldn't just be about giving employees what they want. They should be a part of the decision making process.

Think about it - if a decision is made based on the feedback of an employee on the production floor, how much of that information do you think is lost by the time it gets to a decision maker three levels up?

[7:00] - It’s about more than just treating employees well

How do you cut out the middlemen and create that conversation? Transparency is key!

This reminds me of a tweet I saw over the weekend:

Without a proper conversation, "we'd like a startup type of environment" could turn into "here's a ping-pong table" - but that's really missing the point... isn't it?

[9:25] - Is a feeling of contentment good?

Especially looking at the latest generation of employees, millennials want to have a stronger relationship with their employer and they want to make an impact. If they spend time discovering new technology and tools to get the job done, those tools should be given proper consideration.

[15:05] - Would employees at your workplace mow the lawn outside the office?

Peter shares a story about hardship during the 2008 financial crisis that led to employees taking on unskilled tasks to help reduce expenses. That behavior stemmed from transparency of balance sheets and fiscal planning; although layoffs were inevitable - a deep sense of trust was created among those who remained with the company through tough times.

Employee engagement runs through every interaction - from company meetings to the training and education process, and beyond. Do your employees limit themselves to "getting the job done" or are they engaged to make the company better?

Listen to the entire discussion here:


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