Director of Consulting A&DC
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Why an engaged workforce should be top of your Christmas list

20th Dec 2012
Director of Consulting A&DC
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In any business, in any sector, it can be very easy for the obvious things to go unnoticed. With the market as it is at the moment, for instance, many organisations are cutting spending and making changes to gain competitive advantage.  This results in a shift in priorities, with certain key aspects of a job role or the responsibilities of an employer taking a back seat.

One such example of this can be seen in nursing. With the increased pressure of meeting targets, it seems that the industry has become very task-orientated. Cuts have been made, and employees are under huge strain to get more done, in some instances leading to a decline in patient care.

In order to address this, we recently heard Jane Cummings – Chief Nursing Officer for England – announce proposed changes. She’s heading up a new campaign to address concerns of neglect and abuse in hospitals and care homes, with a focus on embedding key values such as compassion, communication, and commitment. And, whilst patients expect and deserve a high level of care, so do employees – they should equally be made to feel at ease in an unfamiliar environment, have their concerns and queries listened to, and receive any support that they need.

A greater focus on making staff feel valued is essential in any sector. This is more important than ever in an uncertain climate as, with organisations downsizing, restructuring and making redundancies, it’s easy for employees to lose sight of their career goals.

HR teams have a responsibility in engaging the workforce and boosting morale. For example, it’s important to offer staff the opportunity to take control of their own careers, and help them to understand their personal strengths, ambitions, motivational drivers and achievements. They will then have a better understanding of their current value to the company, their potential future value and the routes they can take to fulfil their potential.

It can be very easy for engagement to become more of a desire rather than a necessity, particularly when budgets are tight. But keeping staff motivated doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, even relatively simple measures can lead to increased productivity – staff who feel valued will be happier, resulting in them being more proactive and less likely to leave the company. 

A little recognition at Christmas for all their hard work can really make the difference to an employee who is perhaps feeling underappreciated. And ensure that engagement is something that continues into 2013 – make it a New Year’s resolution that you stick to!

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