In an increasingly complex talent market, we’re seeing more demand for employee engagement. This is fuelled by an increasing desire for flexibility, recognition of life outside of work, and staff shortages across many industries. This focus is today, re-defining the employer brand offering.
Our team has been working with clients across brand, people and culture for over 15 years, learning through in-house exploration and from the examples of others the many shapes engagement can take. We’re talking things like people and culture strategies, values development, employer branding, and rethinking how employees engage with the organisation or business strategy.
But now there’s a common question we see surfacing across every industry…
Where do we start with employee engagement, and who owns this space internally?
The challenge as we see it:
- Who owns the employer brand and where does it sit in the overall business ecosystem?
- Who owns the people and culture strategy, and where does it intersect with the employer brand?
- Where do these moving parts sit within the overarching business strategy, and what should be developed first?
Based on our observations, the bigger the organisation, the more complex it becomes to answer this question. Different departments have varying stakes in the game, ie. Different levels of ownership across business strategy, culture, brand, and the employee.
What’s more, long-standing processes, organisational habits, and cultural quirks can make it tricky to even see where employee engagement may be lacking, let alone to start addressing the issues.
So, how do you start to connect each of your business areas in a cohesive and meaningful way? And what comes first: culture, people, brand or business? In our experience, it’s not linear in nature, but there are steps you can take towards developing each of these areas — without stopping business as usual.
Shaping a better employee engagement strategy
- Thoroughly explore what makes your organisation unique.
It’s only when you know who you are, what you have, and where you want to go that you can shape a truly effective engagement strategy. Use this self-knowledge to establish how your requirements align to the business plan, who needs to be involved in the process, and what success looks like in this space.Anthologie recently launched our Employee Engagement Diagnostic Workshop; it’s a great starting point for establishing internal ownership and creating a roadmap for success.
- Use your assets.
You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. By mapping what you already have in existence, you can find the gaps and what the priorities are. Chances are, you already have most of the intel you need sitting in some department, somewhere within the organisation!
- Plan with purpose.
A cohesive people and culture strategy, an authentic employer brand, and embedding the business strategy doesn’t just happen organically. These things take careful planning and consideration to craft employee engagement initiatives in a way that aligns to the direction of the business.
- Do your research.
Get to know your employee (current and prospective) before you develop what you think they need. It will save you time in the long run.
- Find the right people to lead your initiatives.
They won’t always be your heads of department or HR staff. You’re looking for people with the right combination of skills, passion and influence to make your strategies work. Consider co-ownership if your employee engagement initiatives sit across multiple departments or teams.
- Invest in the outcome.
In a market with stretched internal capacity, we highly recommend outsourcing where you need to. This helps lay the foundations so you can confidently move forward while making the most of business as usual.
- Embed, embed, embed.
It’s awesome to invest in the development of employee engagement initiatives, and in our experience the most successful strategies are the ones that have been embedded by design, not default. Consider how to embed the strategy to live out its promise internally, and externally.
Last but not least, establish what value you want your employee engagement plan to bring to the business. Make it measurable, so you can track success and pivot when you need to.
Great companies know that sustainable success comes from creating synergy between business, brand and culture. Anthologie can help you achieve this. Drop us a line to chat about developing a world-class employee engagement strategy as unique as your organisation.