Friday 8 May 2020


Posted by
James Dalton

The realisation that ‘it’s all about people’ is one of the very few positive outcomes of the Covid19 crisis. For a decade and more, employers have known that engagement levels (and productivity) remain at a record low. Many millions have been spent trying to address this ‘issue’, usually to no avail. The past few weeks have of course challenged companies to engage like never before; with some remarkable immediate changes in how organisations recognise and communicate with their people. And yet … what’s really changed in the past few weeks? Will the new normal, with many working practices having changed overnight, genuinely be more engaging for your employees?

And if so, so what? I ask these questions because for the past decade, my team has seen and heard of many well-intentioned (and expensive) engagement strategies flounder. We’ve witnessed a multitude of Employee Engagement survey companies build large incomes promising to help you achieve a nirvana that never arrives. And the truth is that the nirvana was never going to arrive. Because ‘Employee Engagement’, on its own, achieves very little.


That’s why we’ve worked with thought-leaders who have successfully managed hundreds of businesses, to put engagement in its place – as just one dimension of harnessing loyalty, advocacy and stellar performance from your workforce. If you’re serious about landing and embedding lasting change, this 4E approach has proven that Engagement needs to be a holistic solution threaded to Enabling, Empowering and Evaluation.

Engaging is motivating people with a desire to want to give effort and work together. At a time of transformation, It’s best achieved when people feel part of the process, understanding the ‘Why’ of change and wanting to help drive and embed that change for you.

But what happens then? Engagement needs to be part of a wider eco-system of drivers:

Enabling is ensuring people have the tools and knowledge to do their jobs. Your people can’t do anything unless they’re equipped to land the change with new knowledge and skills.

Empowering is about people having control and autonomy in their daily work – and that means being empowered through the whole process, including helping to develop plans and being part of decision-making.

Evaluation is just that: being able to measure the 3E’s above, through an easyto-integrate system such as the pretty remarkable

Together, these 4 E’s work in combination to drive effective and lasting change. Your employees will feel the difference and so will your customers, and ultimately the business will perform like a well-oiled machine – and that’s why this whole driver and impact focused approach underpins every learning experience we deliver, from Managing, Leading & Landing Change, to Talent Development and Leadership Development.

So the answer isn’t Engagement. Let me know if you have any questions!

James Dalton, Head of Learning & Engagement, PeopleStory.



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