David MacLeod drives focus on employee engagement into 2012

David MacLeod drives focus on employee engagement into 2012

The government’s Employee Engagement Task Force, led by David MacLeod and Cathy Brown, met with over 50 senior HR professionals at the Institute of Directors to discuss the continued importance and development of employee engagement for businesses in the UK in 2012 as well as further plans for the Task Force.

Aims for 2012 include the formation of regional practitioner groups, recognising the importance of sharing Good Practice between active stakeholders across public and private sectors in the UK. 

Speaking about the four key enablers for employee engagement, Macleod said: “Engaging managers are constantly coaching, as far as possible in a positive vein. They are treating their people as individuals and they are ensuring that the person knows what success will look like in the role and giving them a bit of scope.”  He summarised this as ‘Task, Trust and Tend’, that is… “clear tasking, trusting people to get on with it, but tending to them  - making sure you are available for coaching and so on.”

Following MacLeod, the audience received further practical insights into how three leading organisations are tackling their engagement challenges. Simon Hardaker of GKN, one of the world’s oldest engineering companies, talked about maintaining engagement in the economic downturn; Peter Meyler and Miriam Futter of the John Lewis Partnership illustrated the correlation between employee engagement and customer loyalty; and Brad Jennings of Prudential Assurance led a discussion on employee surveys and action planning.

Alison Taffs of the Tragus Group, whose portfolio includes the restaurant brands Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Strada, felt her time was well spent: “Hearing real life stories from other companies and the wider view of the issues surrounding employee engagement was very thought provoking. David MacLeod was excellent and I will certainly be sharing his views with colleagues internally… The honesty of others certainly instills confidence.”

The event was organised by engagement specialist Grass Roots and chaired by its Head of Commercial Operations - Reward Services, Francis Goss. Speaking about the Task Force, Goss said: “We’re delighted to have been able to bring together such a knowledgeable and experienced peer group. Employee engagement will continue to be a major topic for organisations across both the public and private sector over the coming year. It is clear from today that leaders are looking for both insights and practical tools that can support them in the challenges they face”.

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