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Evolving Staff Engagement Program



Every board needs to decide if the time is right to conduct an annual staff engagement survey being an excellent first step in enabling an activation of a Staff Engagement program.

Such a decision can be part of acknowledging the external realities of an organisation which seeks sustainability and, hence strengthening. It provides a timely key to the managed unlocking of the organisation’s far larger and more fluid landscape paradigm.

The ‘Why’ Question

There is considerable research available all of which shows a direct connection between the level of employee engagement to an organisation’s successful business performance.

The engagement survey is but one of several upfront activities that an organisation would consider as part of initiating its staff engagement program.

The reason for this preparatory phase is to set the program up for success. The organisation engagement program must be confident that it is addressing the following:

  • What is the level of engagement of organisation staff?
  • Why are staff engaged?
  • What are the drivers or levers for staff to be engaged at organisation?
  • What are the common drivers; and what are the different drivers across the whole of the organisation?
  • What are areas of need that require directed action?
  • How can this action improve engagement?

The evolving nature of an organisation’s engagement program will inform senior leaders and their managers to know more about what needs to be done to improve business performance. In other words, both the leaders and managers will have greater insights into their teams, and importantly offer them a focus on what are the actions which can improve engagement, thereby improving their business performance.

The why extends to establishing an engagement program which can deliver to the organisation’s people – the ultimate owners and drivers of continuous improvement – practical and actionable information, which makes sense to everyone, and demonstrates real support at the frontline.

Ultimately, the organisation’s engagement program needs to be capable of delivering a positive impact at both the staff level and the organisational level. The true test of an organisation’s engagement program’s own success lies with how widespread and enthusiastically every person embraces the journey; and how well the identified actions are embedded in their day-to-day practices.

Meaningful Areas of Focus

Some of the shared elements may include:

  • Understanding of organisation’s strategic goals
  • Knowing how your work meets organisation’s objectives
  • Link between what you do and organisation’s objectives
  • Views of your team
  • Work support requirements
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Purpose and role clarity
  • Fair treatment and job focus.

Overall it seeks to capture in a meaningful manner the shared understanding by staff of the organisation’s performance expectations. Included too will be aspects of the level of trust and confidence, and a sense and demonstration of accountability. Areas of training, personal development and opportunities for acquiring or learning new skills can be important areas to have assessed.
Additionally, what are the shared or common themes across the global organisation world can reveal the broader cohesiveness and integrative strengths of one-organisation.


The organisation’s key leaders need to assume ownership of the engagement program to ensure its success. The frontline is the organisation’s leadership team, as they need to embrace and effectively communicate that they see it as a core part of organisation’s business strategy.

It cannot be simply treated as a people management initiative or an isolated decision about a survey.

It needs to gain the commitment from the organisation’s key leaders, including the board. All leaders need to demonstrate their sense of ownership by being prepared to champion parts of the program. They may lead in specific program activities or demonstrate their own enthusiastic involvement with their teams.

The area of employee engagement at any organisation will continue to change even when nothing is done to manage it. However, it is best to intervene with management actions as this has the right chance to positively impact the way people work and interact across the organisation. The expectations of an organisation’s staff are also changing as organisations and their environments undergo considerable change, especially in the next 5 to 10 years.

Therefore, from a sound governance position, it is critical that every organisation keeps adapting, while better understanding, monitoring and managing their business performance over their journey. The board decision is one that intended to ensure that the organisation’s people can continue to optimise the positive impact on business performance and outcomes.

DISCLAIMER: This article is general ONLY in nature and is not advice

For more information contact Damien Smith on or +61 418 325 781.