Sustainable OD

A blog dedicated to the wonderfull field of Organisation Development

It’s the little things

This phrase sums up my key takeaways from the inspiring line up of speakers at the ORC International Employee Engagement Conference, “Engaging People, Enhancing Performance”. The stories told by senior leaders within their organisations really brought the simplicity in most cases of getting engagement right. Many notes were taken on the day and I have been sharing all the tips, learning and inspiration in different ways.

So here are the top bits to remember from the different speakers! Notice some of them repeat what the other said… as someone I know says…success leaves clues!

Lesley Titcomb, Chief Executive, The Pensions Regulator

She was an absolutely brilliant speaker! Funny to the bone, and with a lot of wisdom, she spoke about their journey. Here are the lightbulb bits:

  • You achieve success by focusing on people.
  • It’s easier to take people with you when you explain WHY.
  • As a leader you need to walk the floor and be visible. Book those briefings in and do not move the date.
  • Use humour, the important bit is to be genuine and come across as another human being.
  • “Let’s enjoy work while we are there!”
  • “It’s too easy to blame the past, you undermine your chances of success if you just do that”.
  • New challenge, maintain the great engagement levels.

Beth Stallwood, Head of Colleague Talent & Development, Lawn Tennis

Besides showing me I know nothing about tennis… Beth talked about one of my favourite topics, values! Funny that was just our last webinar! Anyway, key points:

  • They launched their values in an organisation wide event
  • They used employee voice to review values and used focus groups as a tool to create the framework
  • Emphasised the importance of senior leaders role modelling values
  • Expect more from your leaders, create a second version of the behaviours for them, set the bar high.
  • Recognition doesn’t have to cost much. They have postcards that peers can send to each other as a way to recognise them, but also quarterly and annual awards.

Debbie Klein, CEO Europe and Asia Pacific, Engine Group

Although Debbie was there to tell us more about the Engine Group as ORC International now form part of it, I wanted to share a quote she said, “The role of a leader is to give a chance to luck. It’s not about them, not about you.”

Glenn Tunstall, Chief Superintendent, Metropolitan Police

I can see how he can be such an engaging leader, great and inspiring speech about persistence and starting from the top. Also, loved he referenced the four enablers of engagement as the way he looks at things within his organisation. Key takeaways:

  • Be persistent, during his first parades, as he calls them, no one showed up, but he kept going.
  • Vision should give hope of the future and you have to talk about it.
  • Make sure you are developing but also persuading/ motivating leaders to be engaging. Talk to them, but also make sure you manage those that will never buy in to your vision.
  • “All good decisions have been made by our employees”.

David Hilll & Paige Cahill, Employee Engagement, Morrisons

As they both described it, they are still on a journey but know they are moving the right way. Some of the key things they are doing in line with their emphasis on “key to listening is responding”:

  • 5 day development programme for all managers (now that’s commitment!)
  • You say Forum – made up of a variety of staff which meet monthly to solve problems
  • Use social media as a tool to listen and respond

You really can’t say these are not simple things we can all do within our organisations to keep improving. Most of these are scalable in any sector, across industries and even geographies. From big budget to small, take one of these tips into your world and experience the benefits of a more engaged workforce.

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