HR should energise and engage workers

HR professionals have been urged to play a greater role in ensuring their organisation becomes an “employer of choice”.

At a conference organised by Roffey Park Management Institute last week, experts said HR must make people feel involved, ensure they are well-equipped to do their job, give them opportunities to learn and develop, coach them through periods of uncertainty and allow people to work flexibly to suit their lifestyles.

The key benefits are that staff in a great workplace are more productive, suffer less from absenteeism, are less likely to leave and provide superior customer service.

Roffey Park principal consultant Gary Miles said: “If an organisation is to attract, motive and retain the right people, HR must get the employee deal right. The HR challenge is to energise and engage employees and find ways to help them take pride in their work, so that they care more about satisfying customers.”

Research and strategy director Linda Holbeche said money will become less important than equality and shifting down will become acceptable as employees strive for work-life balance.

Rather than anticipating that they will work long-term for the same organisation, individuals are much more ready to embark on multiple careers or a radical career change in their search for greater flexibility, she added.

Kwik-Fit Financial Services HR director Keren Edwards highlighted the changes the company made to its call-centre in Glasgow after successfully generating 6,500 ideas from employees. She urged HR professionals to do the same but warned that processes must be put in place to act on the outputs. She said that it can be relatively easy to implement “quick wins” and that all benefits should be communicated and, where possible, quantified.

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