Taking Employee Engagement to Premier League Standards

With Arsenal’s win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final, another football season came to a close and the build up to the transfer window began in earnest.

Now is the time that managers, head coaches and directors of football will be praying that they got their employee engagement right over the past few months. A player who feels he or she has been badly treated by their club will be looking for a summer move, whilst a footballer who appreciates the support they have received over the past season may be keen to sign a new contract, or see out their existing agreement.

A stark example of a breakdown between club and player is the case of Newcastle United and Jonas Gutierrez. Had Newcastle not chosen to release the player, who scored one of the goals which helped seal victory on the final day of the season as the club narrowly avoided relegation, one could surmise that he would have wanted to leave this summer.

Having returned to action following a battle with testicular cancer, the Argentinian’s parting Tweet read: “Two things I learn from my illness how you can support a player (Newcastle fans) and how you can leave a player alone (Newcastle owner).”

Yes, it’s an extreme example, but it shows the importance of treating a member of staff correctly, especially at times of hardship.

For employers, there are parallels to be found. Retaining your top staff means great employee engagement. No employee’s desire to work for a business improves if they feel they are not appreciated and supported.

Especially now, with the economy and employment improving, a good employee has greater choice of where to work. It is no longer the case that an employer can relax, safe in the knowledge that their staff “should be happy just to have a job”.

Those who have looked after their staff in such times can reap the rewards now, with the loyalty garnered from such treatment.

Good employee engagement fosters better staff retention, reducing the financial and time costs of recruitment. It also improves productivity, financial performance and company growth.

For employers, the “transfer window” is always open, making good engagement with staff a 365 day job.

It’s not hard work, it’s smart work. Good employee engagement can be as simple as maintaining open and honest dialogue, regular feedback or even simply saying “thank you” for a job done well. The benefits are disproportionately powerful compared with the simplicity of good practice.

 *Azure Consulting is offering employers a chance to find out how engaged their staff are with its new e3 assessment. Further details are available here: https://www.azure-consulting.co.uk/employee-engagement/.

By Sue Alderson, Director, Azure Consulting

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