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The percentage of employees who are ‘proud’ to work for their organisation has fallen from almost half of workers at the start of 2012 to just two-fifths, research has found.A survey of 1,114 office staff, by recruitment firm Hyphen, suggested that question marks over the reputations of some employers may have dampened employee engagement.Results showed that the decrease in engagement was most significant among women and workers in London. The number of women disenchanted with their employer has grown to more than a quarter (27 per cent), compared with only 17 per cent who admitted they were not proud of their firm at the beginning of the year. London employees experienced a similar rise in employer dissatisfaction as 25 per cent expressed this sentiment compared to just 15 per cent in the first quarter of the year. However, the survey also found that nine out of 10 staff believe their work contributes to the success of their organisation, while 73 per cent say their colleagues listen to and respect their views.More than two-thirds of respondents praised managers who they said empowered them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. However, the percentage of 16 to 24 year olds who felt empowered by their managers dropped from 81 per cent at the start of 2012 to 63 per cent. Zain Wadee, managing director at hyphen, said: “It is concerning to see that employees have lost pride in their organisations and this is likely to have a knock on effect for their engagement. At a time when businesses are cutting back on spending and the marketplace is tough, a workforce that is proud and enthused will strive to work harder and produce better results. “However with many employees finding their roles stretched even further as organisations look to manage costs, and recent media profiles placing some organisations in the reputational spotlight it is not overly surprising that employees are struggling to feel totally attached and committed to their work.”Wadee said the findings made a strong case for employers to invest in engagement, adding that organisations and managers must work hard to foster a strong culture of inclusivity at work over the coming months. He said this emphasis on support was even more important for the younger generation of staff. “They are just entering the workplace and are therefore very impressionable - they require stronger guidance and support as they embark upon their careers.”
Let's not just 'invest' in employee engagement because that sounds like spending money will solve the problem. Engagement starts with a belief that what we are doing has meaning. Business owners and managers need to see a way forward to believe that there is a future. We've all got behind TeamGB so let's do the same for SMEs and their owners. Their drive will then lift the morale of employees so that they start feeling proud again.
In my experience too many managers feel they have to micro manage their staff. This results in less staff buy-in and longer term staff feeling littleinputt to important decisions. Therefore it is of little surprise to me that feel they way they do. Staff are not invested in, staff are not developed, staff feel they are not trusted and all of this leads to resentment. As a spin- off this process also increases stress levels with managers who micro manage.
An important spotlight on the value of engagement once again... as long as we realise that a real investment in engagement is not just an investment in communications and 'engagement activities' but a profound and honest look at the reality of working at the organisation with a genuine commitment to change, typically involving leadership behaviours, building trust and integrity.
We all need reasons to believe otherwise how do we assess performance and feel pride. The tougher the times the more engagement is needed otherwise we are left to fill the 'pride vacuum' with our own criteria. We live in exciting times for Internal Communications, social media allows us to engage whenever, wherever and however. To my mind the challenge is all around the changing role of managers and leaders in this open, fluid and information rich environment.