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Employee engagement will help you lead the way

In times of recession it is the companies that pull together and work as a team that will outshine those that don’t. By Sally McGuire

It’s all very well getting buy-in to your company’s strategy at board and executive management level, but you also need to engage those on the ground – those that contribute to the essential functioning of your business.

It doesn’t matter what size your organisation is. An individual HR professional or team can put an employee engagement programme in place, or for those that do not have the resource, an external supplier can be brought in to advise and implement a programme on your behalf. Consider some simple, yet effective steps to get the ball rolling:

  • As a starting point, use your business strategy to shape a programme. Get senior level people to do this - because if they visibly buy-in to it, the likelihood is that everyone else will too.
  • Also carry out some basic level research via your company intranet or through focus groups to find out what employees want and how they think they could work together to deliver a programme of this nature.
  • Decide what you want to achieve from it and work backwards to create a timeline of activity.
  • Align the programme with your company’s values so that the output from it fits with your company’s brand.
  • Once you know what you want to roll out, use your marketing function to help create a buzz around its launch using internal communication techniques.
  • Involve line managers, as they should be responsible for engaging with their teams once the programme is launched.
  • Figure out how you are going to capture and share the output from the programme to the benefit of the business strategy.
  • Don’t over commit – decide on a programme that’s easy to implement
  • Make the programme deliverables part of performance reviews – this gives a tangible reason for people to take part.

There couldn’t be a better time to roll out an employee engagement programme – although resource and budgets, for most, are thin on the ground – if you can dedicate some time to this now, you will reap the benefits it brings in the long run.

Sally McGuire is head of learning & development at NG Bailey