Employee Engagement Through CEO Eyes 19.11.13


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Presentation used at the Investors in People Scotland 'Employee Engagement Through CEO Eyes' held on Tuesday 19th November, Edinburgh

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Employee Engagement Through CEO Eyes 19.11.13

  1. 1. #EngagingCEO
  2. 2. Chaired by: Varry McMenemy Managing Director #EngagingCEO
  3. 3. Amy Armstrong Research Fellow and Member of Faculty #EngagingCEO
  4. 4. Amy Armstrong 19 November 2013
  5. 5. Engage for Success • Government-sponsored movement since 2011 • Tasked to grow awareness and improve levels of employee engagement across the UK • Organisations supporting the movement account for more than 2 million employees
  6. 6. Ashridge Business School • Executive and organisational development • Ranked in the top 20 business schools in the world • 300 clients & 6,000 executives worldwide each year • Strengths in leadership, strategy, coaching and change • Six key areas of research: ACBAS; ACC; ACAR; ALC; ASMC; CRED
  7. 7. Research context • Poor engagement may cost the UK economy up to £26 billion each year • Only 1 in 3 employees in the UK feels ‘actively engaged’ • UK productivity is 20% less than G7 average in 2011 = biggest productivity gap since 1995 • Securing high employee engagement cited as the top workforce priority for UK business
  8. 8. Why CEO research? • It is critical that we have effective and engaged leadership at the top • As the organisation’s ‘climate engineers’, it is leaders who set the tone and culture for engagement across the organisation • There is a dearth of literature that gets to the heart of the CEO agenda • It is important to get under the skin of CEOs and to understand engagement through their eyes
  9. 9. Research questions 1. What is stopping CEOs from engaging with engagement? 2. What are the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that they feel are getting in the way? 3. Why do CEOs think engagement isn’t happening more in the UK?
  10. 10. Sample and limitations • 16 depth interviews (10 telephone/6 face-to-face) • 11 private sector / 2 public sector / 3 not-for-profit • Healthcare, Training, Local Government, Financial Services, Charities, Professional Services, Energy, Retail • Included 5 FTSE 100 & 5 SMEs • Limitations: This research gives us depth not generalizability The sample became self-selecting i.e. few sceptics, more champions
  11. 11. How do you understand engagement?
  12. 12. CEO definitions … dialogue / strategic narrative which creates connection and purpose …“an emotionally committing act” • The act of defining engagement is constraining • The words “employee engagement” are “power words” and are in themselves disengaging
  13. 13. Our definition “Engagement encompasses dialogue and a strategic narrative within an organisation, which creates emotional connection and a sense of purpose among employees. The outcome of engagement is an organisational climate where people choose to give the very best of themselves at work.” Armstrong, A (2013)
  14. 14. What makes an engaging leader?
  15. 15. The CEO view 1. Ability to forge deep trusting relationships 2. Leading with emotion and authenticity 3. Genuine openness and honesty
  16. 16. What stops CEOs from engaging with engagement? • CEOs in this study talked about being hindered on three levels: • By shortcomings in their own leadership capability • Because of something within the leader themselves which blocks engagement • Our culture, system and organisational hierarchies which are seen as counter-engagement
  17. 17. CEO Barriers to Engagement
  18. 18. Shortcomings in leadership capability • Giving and receiving feedback “Most of us like to be popular and actually you can’t” “God I wish I knew how everybody viewed me, but I don’t really want to ask them in case it’s not good” • Challenges of self-awareness “I want to be able to see where you think I’m making a really positive difference... And where I am not... and that... for a senior leader in a big role, with a big title, that’s quite a thing to put yourself in” “Turning the mirror on yourself is very difficult in a systematic way. As human beings I think we are masters at getting ourselves off the hook”
  19. 19. The leader themselves • Leader personality and values “People are not focused beyond themselves, particularly senior leaders” • Lack of self-confidence “Most people aren’t willing to put themselves at risk because there’s a level of fragility in the deep-seated confidence in most senior leaders” • Not showing vulnerability “Admitting… you’re not perfect, you’ve got fears, you’ve got hopes. They’re not easy conversations to have, particularly with people you don’t know that well”
  20. 20. Our culture & system • Short-termism and the focus on results “We’re very task-oriented as a culture… we value hard work and output above almost all else” “The culture you operate in is actually relatively short-term, rational, numerically-driven and there’s an invisibility about the conditions required to achieve that” • Hierarchy “There’s a dependence of the senior team on the chief executive for their rations so by definition they’re constrained” “I’ve just come out of a strategy review and they 300 PowerPoint slides. I didn’t ask them to do that, but I think there was a feeling that they needed to do a show and tell” “It’s not the person, it’s the title that’s the problem, and the role. It’s the hierarchy itself that’s the issue”
  21. 21. What next? For leaders & the leadership development community Explore / develop new ways of leading that are selfaware, emotionally-attuned and contextually relevant For HR professionals & executive search Re-evaluative the kinds of leader attributes we recruit for, develop, value and promote For policy-makers and government Appreciate the hidden processes of engagement not just the visible outcomes of it
  22. 22. What next in research? • Test the model among a global population of CEOs • Outcome: To help inform leader development both in the current and future generation of leaders Please get involved! I’d love to talk to any CEOs who are interested in being interviewed for the next stage of research…
  23. 23. References • Armstrong, A (2013) Engagement through CEO Eyes, Ashridge Research Report: www.ashridge.org.uk/engagement • Engage for Success: www.engageforsuccess.org • MacLeod, D., & Clarke, N (2009) Engaging for Success: Enhancing Performance through Employee Engagement, Report for Government: http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file52215.pdf • Rayton, B., Dodge, T., & D’Analeze, G (2012) The Evidence: http://www.engageforsuccess.org/ideas-tools/employee-engagementthe-evidence/
  24. 24. Graeme Waddell Chairman #EngagingCEO
  25. 25. Karen Durnian Customer Experience & Development Leader #EngagingCEO
  26. 26. Glasgow Housing Association Learning Journey 19 November 2013 Karen Durnian Customer Experience & Development Leader 26
  27. 27. http://vimeo.com/holmesvideos/review/6907 6830/0018a9edb3 27
  28. 28. Our operating context 70.4% homes in most deprived areas of Scotland 3,400 72% customers with a mental-health related illness drug users in social rent sector 1/3 of our customers are aged over 60yrs Nine times more deaths due to Alcohol related problems than in least deprived areas 12% of homeless applications give alcohol as a reason 1/3 of households in Glasgow have no one in work 1000+ tenants have dementia 28
  29. 29. 29
  30. 30. We know that great staff make great business! 30
  31. 31. 90% Customer Satisfaction 85% Staff Satisfaction 34
  32. 32. Our culture of excellence “We have never been into an organisation that has transformed itself so fundamentally, so quickly, so positively.” “GHA is a credit to Glasgow and Scotland.” “We are very impressed with you as an organisation” “We saw strong leadership at every level, right down to your front-line staff – and this is something you don’t see very often” 35
  33. 33. 36
  34. 34. Questions for all speakers #EngagingCEO
  35. 35. Lunch & networking Thank you #EngagingCEO