As we get underway with the launch of our 2019 UK & European Employee Engagement Awards, we at the Engagement Zone will be interviewing judges for the upcoming event. Today, the Engagement Zone sits down with Jenni Field, Founder & Director at Redefining Communications.

EZ: What does employee engagement mean to you?

JENNI: It’s about bringing the employee’s voice into some of the strategic decisions a company makes and helping employees understand their role and impact on the organisation

EZ: What are your three tips to companies looking to drive engagement in their organisations?

JENNI:

  1. Make time to listen to people
  2. If you listen, take action at the right pace for your organisation
  3. Work closely with line managers so they understand their role in engagement

EZ: What do you feel are the biggest pitfalls that companies should look to avoid when executing their engagement strategy?

JENNI: You have to be clear what you’re engaging about and why. As a CEO once said to me, I can’t get everyone involved in everything otherwise we are a social club and that just wouldn’t work. This stuck with me as it think we often fall in the pitfall of making everything a collective decision which isn’t sustainable for a business.

You have to be real about engagement and it has to link to the organisational strategy and purpose. Don’t do it to tick a box.

EZ: Why do employees fail to buy in when companies try to ramp up engagement?

JENNI: Usually because companies aren’t addressing some of the core issues in the workplace and therefore employees won’t be able to engage in the broader stuff.

EZ: What skills are most useful for everyone to have when trying to move towards a culture of engagement?

JENNI: Understand people – if I have learnt anything in the last year it’s that we need to understand more about human beings, how we work together and how we came to thrive in this world – if we can do that then we can help organisations get the best from those at work.

EZ: You’re a judge for the Employee Engagement Awards. What will you be looking for in the entries?

JENNI: I always look for measurable objectives and measurement to match it.

EZ: How important do you think it is to connect Employee Experience to the Customer Experience and why?

JENNI: Incredibly important. There is such a connection between the two – what happens on the inside shows up on the outside so if you have treated an employee unfairly it will impact how they treat their customers. Helping line managers understand this is key.

EZ: What’s the best EE idea you’ve seen a company roll out/attempt and wish you’d had that idea yourself?

JENNI: Ooh this is a good question! It’s the real stuff that I like – a genuine wellbeing strategy that is mapped through to behaviours for example.

EZ: Which person (dead or alive) would you love to be able to come in and speak to your workforce/colleagues?

JENNI: Brene Brown (very much alive) – I adore her work.

EZ: Favourite song to crank up after a tough day at work?

JENNI: Haha I remember this from last year – this year it’s Pass That Dutch by Missy Elliott – volume on loud!

EZ: Best place in the world you have visited?

JENNI: South Africa

EZ: The place you’d most like to visit?

JENNI: Galapagos Islands

NOTE: Deadline for the UK & European Awards is October 16, 2019 – Enter here.