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How to Nurture Employee Engagement in Small Businesses

I’m a strong supporter of Employee Engagement – it makes a lot of sense to me.  What busy owner manager wouldn’t want their staff to work with passion and purpose, go the extra mile and actively promote their business?

However, I don’t believe paying lip service to the concept will be enough this year and I think the emphasis is going to be on making the link clearer between Employee Engagement and Business Performance.  There are some worrying statistics to support such a gear shift: David McLeod, author of Engaging for Success, has recently suggested that Britain loses a staggering £26 billion in lost GDP as a result of disengagement!  Louise Aston, from Business in the Community, refers to the UK’s Employee Engagement Deficit and is pushing for managers to seek what she terms as ‘sustainable’ Employee Engagement in 2013.

But, talking to a number of my Shrewsbury and Telford based clients, I also know that nurturing Employee Engagement can seem just too abstract for busy owner managers, who are already juggling multiple tasks.

The Challenge: how to nurture Employee Engagement within small, busy businesses?

Despite another tough economic forecast for the next 12 months, I believe that smaller businesses have many of the right ‘engagement’ building blocks in place already, giving them distinct advantages over larger competitors:

  • Communications are usually more open

  • Employee involvement happens more naturally

  • Job roles are more fluid and flexible

  • Structures are frequently flatter and less restricted by bureaucracy

If these building blocks are then enhanced with:

Strong Leadership + Positive and Frequent Feedback + Celebration of Successes + Culture of training and development

Small businesses will be well on their way to nurturing an environment where employees will be far more willing to give their discretionary effort for the good of the business – a fertile breeding ground for Employee Engagement.

Is 2013 going to be your Year of Engagement? Let me know how you get on.

If you need a few more pointers, you might be interested in a couple of my previous articles:

Are You Willing to Go to the Extreme of Employee Engagement

The Art of Engagement – 12 Ways to Engage your Staff

Also, check out Business in the Community’s Workwell Model, which provides a practical framework for proactively promoting wellness and engagement – well worth a look.

Alternatively, if you would like some down to earth, practical help Engaging your Employees, just call: 01952 246612, email: kay@kayhealdhr.co.uk, Tweet: @KayHealdHR or send a message via LinkedIn: Kay Heald or my contact me form.

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