Volunteers and employees

Westaways Employee Engagement

Recent research has shown that 71% of UK workers are going to be looking for a new job this year, with 9% looking to move into an entirely new industry. People are looking not just for full employment but also part time work or having retired early maybe looking for an occupation such as volunteering.

Volunteers are vital in communities; a lot of today’s issues have a root cause in either the absence or the breakdown of community groups and community action. The types of these groups are infinite, ranging across specific interest groups, care in the community, social, sports clubs and many others.

The role of a volunteer has arguably never been so important.

Working from home, new working practises, and new challenges have resulted in workforces being less engaged, contributing less and not surprisingly looking to make career changes. There is arguably a forgotten cohort that needs to be coaxed back into regular routine employment.

Disney has recognised this, and the CEO is bringing employees back to the office for four days a week saying

“in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors.”

Volunteers and employees often settle into different groups. The capability for any organisation to adapt and to change to meet challenges is shown to be closely related to how engaged they are with their organisation.  Motivation and a profound connection to the organisation’s values will transform the progress and innovation of a group.

What is engagement

I am Chairman of the Directors at our Local Rugby Club; we are driving the club forward at breakneck pace. How?

Because the whole structure of volunteers at the club are getting things done, and all of us are “on the same bus”.

The same applies in business if employees work with a passion they will drive innovation – they are fully “engaged” with the beliefs and the vision of the company.

Unfortunately research by Gallup has shown that just 9% of UK workers feel enthused by their work and workplace today – compared to 16% in Germany and 33% in Romania, home to Europe’s most engaged workforce.

If employees are “not engaged” they will put time into their workday, but no passion or energy into their work.

However, there is another type of employee who is “actively disengaged” these employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they are busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day these workers undermine what their engaged colleagues accomplish.

Top Tips to improve engagement

  1. Leaders and managers “on deck”, using their experience to make timely decisions.
  2. Company wide pride in values and product
  3. Right people in right jobs
  4. Celebration of achievements
  5. Clear vision of what is next
  6. Regular communication

Seems simple, but so often it is missing. Improve the engagement in your organisation and you will progress and innovate faster.

Get the “right people on the bus” and look after them.