As we draw ever so close to the UK & European Employee Engagement Awards entry deadline, we at the Engagement Zone will be interviewing judges for the upcoming event. Today, the Engagement Zone sits down with Keeran Gunnoo, Head of Brand & Attraction at Sky.
REMINDER: Deadline for the UK & European Awards is October 16, 2019 – Enter here.
EZ: What does employee engagement mean to you?
KEERAN: Well, for me, good employee engagement means that employees have a great job they love to talk about and a company they want everyone to know about. They feel engaged because they share the goals, future vision and values of a company, and given we live in a highly digital world, they’ll often express their opinions online, but at the same time they’ll feel that they have a real voice in the company too, and can shape its success with their input.
Ensuring we serve our employees the best that we can, helps create engagement that embodies our Sky employer brand drivers and creates a positive buzz.
EZ: What are your three tips to companies looking to drive engagement in their organisations?
- Listen to your employees. If you have no idea what their issues or concerns are, there’s no way you are going to gauge where they’re at and how they feel about your organisation. This will reveal what you need to do to engage them.
- Find out what makes your people happy. This links back to my first point. That’s what employee engagement is about – keeping your people happy in your business but allowing them to grow and thrive. When you’re looking at the commercial business at Sky it has a positive impact, people want to do business with an organisation that treats their people well, both inside and outside of work.
- Actually make change happen. Lots of companies go to the effort of doing surveys and “listening”, but don’t ever do anything about it. This sends a deeply resounding message: “your opinions don’t really matter to us”. So, in the end, people just stop engaging.
EZ: Why do employees fail to buy in when companies try to ramp up engagement?
KEERAN: Because companies haven’t invested in them. They haven’t invested in their EVP and creating one that actually resonates with their employees. They haven’t made efforts to make their employees truly “happy.”
If employee morale is low due to poor company culture, bad leadership and working in a thankless environment, then you can’t expect any kind of engagement, so forget about ramping it up. It’s going to be zilch!
If you want employees to engage, first invest in them and make them happy. Invest in their development, create a salubrious culture and acknowledge their efforts, and only then can you think about “ramping up” engagement.
EZ: What skills are most useful for everyone to have when trying to move towards a culture of engagement?
KEERAN: Demonstrating sincere empathy, I would say is first. It forms a crucial part of emotional engagement and enables people to actively listen to one another.
Second, I would say, the ability to effectively communicate so that everyone knows what you’re talking about.
And third, collaboration – people need to be able to work together, and by doing so, they create a closer-knit, happier culture that unifies everyone.
These three skills form the foundation of a culture that’s disposed towards a culture of engagement!
EZ: How important do you think it is to connect Employee Experience to the Customer Experience and why?
KEERAN: Very! If you take care of the Employee Experience, your employees will take care of your Customer Experience.
If your employees aren’t happy, this is going to negatively impact your business commercially, because it will filter through to every aspect of your operations, plus, they will voice how they feel, externally.
And when people on the outside learn that a company isn’t treating its employees well, the public often boycotts them.
Amazon faced this issue when the news broke about certain working conditions in their warehouses – it had a negative effect across the board (if only for a short period).
EZ: Since you entered the world of work, what’s the best experience you’ve had?
KEERAN: During my career, I have been fortunate to personally work and engage in thought leadership conversations with the CEO’s of LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Unilever and Avon and also meet with former President Barack Obama. You take more than just what they say away with you – you feel their leadership, experience and wisdom.
EZ: Which person (dead or alive) would you love to be able to come in and speak to your workforce/colleagues?
KEERAN: Michelle Obama. She is a force for good and looks at how you can bring women to the table. Especially women from the BAME community, I think we should all support one another, but also encourage men to be allies and educate them on how they can be allies, which is something she does.
EZ: Best place in the world you have visited?
KEERAN: Amsterdam, for sure. It’s one of the places I love going back to again and again. Who doesn’t love Gouda cheese, clogs, windmills and cycling along pretty canals?!
NOTE: Deadline for the UK & European Awards is October 16, 2019 – Enter here.