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Science of Ingagement, research by Weber Shandwick
14 March, 2014 - 07:26
The study draws on learning from neuroscience, psychology and anthropology to gain a deep understanding of what drives employee engagement.
Working with sister company KRC Research, Weber Shandwick surveyed 1,152 full-time UK employees, aged 18 to 64.
The Science of Ingagement (science applied to internal engagement) investigates what kinds of employees, in what kinds of workplaces, tend to be more and less engaged. Findings indicate that "people in executive, scientific or creative roles are more engaged than those in more administrative, cutomer-facing, sales, and manual/physical roles."
The research also highlights on which elements of engagement UK employers are currently weaker: Involvement (feeling listened to and involved in decisions), shared values (the employer shares my personal values), and empathy (the employer understands my needs and cares about me).
"With only half of UK employees currently engaged, how can employers reach and engage the other half?" The study suggests five broad principles to build sustainable employee engagement.
1. Create a climate of shared values relates to creating a culture of emphathy among the broader workforce. "It must be empowered and encouraged to do so."
2. Build singularity of purpose and meaning. Companies looking to deeply engage their staff should "give more meaning and purpose to their organisations and create environments that are about more than simply getting the job done."
3. Nurture a more creative working environment. The study found that creatives are the most engaged, mainly because they are empowered to escape - thinking outside the box - and innovate. Therefore, Weber Shandwick's report suggests to introduce "environments and policies that allow people to be more creative at work".
4. Give conscience substance. Two critical elements to engagement are integrity and respect which can be encouraged by demostrating "ethics at all times." This is suggested to be done "through building Corporate Responsibility programmes around employees passions but also demonstrating conscience and ethics through every action."
5. Educate and inspire employees in ways that enhance their lives as well as their careers. Findings indicate the need for people to feel that they are progressing in work as well as in life. "Thus, employee engagement should embrace not only workplace skills development, but also inspirational training that helps people develop as individuals, not just as workers".
With rigour and strategic analysis the Science of Ingagement is a fascinating report that brings incisive insight to the world of employee engagement. It well deserves being read, and you may find its priciples applicable to your organisation.
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