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Engaging your employees to increase your ROI
Employees are an investment - are you getting a return?
How do you get your employees engaged in their work to improve the ROI in your business?
Contrary to what we might believe, we want to connect and collaborate at work. Given the right opportunities, employees will engage in every facet of business, from how you communicate with one another to the way your products, services and customers develop and evolve.  Most employees look for a workplace full of connections, conversations, and collaboration.
I’m working with an Oxfordshire client at the moment to develop an Employee Forum to increase ROI by improving communication and engagement, especially between departments.
What is a Forum and how do you start one?
An Employee Forum is a vehicle for representatives from each area of the business to come together to discuss matters that impact them and their ‘constituents’ .My client’s reps were elected and we started the first meeting by agreeing the guidelines that they would work by, which included:
·         posting meeting agendas in advance, and making the minutes of actions agreed,                     (and more importantly, actions taken) available to all employees to ensure that the                   Forum is not just a ‘talk shop’.
·         starting with small steps that build trust and confidence
·         how often the Forum will meet and who will be committed to being at the meeting;
·         the fact that everyone will have an equal voice and will speak on behalf of their                         ‘constituents’ rather than give their personal views.
The important thing is that it’s got the team talking about the things that stop them from doing a great job.
Next step will be to get the guidelines signed off by the Board, who incidentally bought straight into the Forum principle. Board members will be attending meetings by request to present on what they do and how they see the business moving forward. The Forum is seen as an investment in the business and the Board will be consequently looking for a return, which both the Forum and the Board are confident that they will deliver.
Honesty and confidentiality are pre-requisites here. It’s recognised that they have to be earned and the initial meetings have to prove that trust can be built and that there is a common purpose to progress and drive ROI together.
Every employee will be encouraged to participate and give their opinion to their rep, even on subjects that might not be in their direct area of work. The joint belief is that innovation comes from every corner of the company, not just the leaders.
It is early days, but the signs are that the Forum, simply and fairly designed and executed, will engender trust, engagement and improve the return on the investment that the business makes in its employees.
For more on engaging your employees, read our other blogs and see the excellent Engage for Success website.
If you would like to find out more about what an Employee Forum could do for your business, just call us on 07813-994556.

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