I attended BASE in London recently, a very interesting conference with a few innovative twists. One of these twists was a series of round table discussions which delegates were encouraged to book up and run. Red rag to a bull for me, I couldn’t resist it, so I hosted a round table discussion on the behaviour required to make sustainability stick. A few kind, bright and interesting people showed up and we had a good conversation. Amongst other things we discussed productivity, engagement, value, and the emotional stakeholding we might wish to have within business. We (more or less) agreed that women collaborate better than men, and we ummed and ahhed about the end of the age of man…age…ment.
Rather than try to box off this piece of work, I’m experimenting. You can download the collective stream of consciousness and fill in the blanks yourself here. Notes from BASE Conversation We enjoyed the conversation so much we’re meeting again in a few weeks, I’ll keep you posted. Meantime your thoughts and ideas on how to fill those gaps always welcome.
PS. BASELondon is coming on May 27th – watch this space.
To the tune of Folsom Prison Blues, with thanks to the late great Johnny Cash
Dodgy acoustics, one take!
I hear the survey comin’, It’s rolling round the bend
And I ain’t seen the output since I don’t know when,
I’m in engagement prison, and time keeps draggin’ on
But that survey keeps a rollin’ on down to San Antone..
When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
If you take part in a survey, make sure there’s action done
So I listened and encouraged, I hoped to make them try
But all they do is measure, they never ask folks why..
I bet there’s rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
While employees are still suffrin, the gap between them is too far
Well they should question and take action, Good listening comes for free
But too often there’s just talkin’, And that’s what tortures me…
Well if they freed us from this prison, If that engagement train was mine
I bet we’d move it on a little farther down the line
We’d listen and take action, a little more each day
And we’d let that lonesome whistle blow our blues away..
My search for interesting and useful stories about employee engagement take me to many places. I search all over, and sometimes the very best stuff is a lot closer than you think. Thanks to the wonder of the internet I’ve made lots of friends I’ve yet to meet, though I know a good deal of them better than I know some of my relatives!
One of those highly enjoyable meet ups that has come my way is with a guy named Craig. We share at least two common interest, guitars and engagement. Here is a link to a great story written by Craig as a letter, from the worker to the boss. In itself it’s a lovely tale about connectedness. Behind it is some really powerful stuff, like talent wars, career shifters, and people who need people. It’s also about retaining good people, and the payoff.
Craig concludes by saying, “If you manage to land good talent, you’d better work hard to hold on to it. What factors impact overall job satisfaction, and therefore retention? Forget the bottom level basic survival needs of the Maslow model. The work force is craving much more than just pay and benefits. I’m not a researcher, and I don’t care to list yet again the mountains of studies and data to validate this, but the studies are out there. Fact:
Companies with higher levels of engagement also experience greater profit, productivity and retention rates.
The bad news: you cannot buy engagement. The good news: engagement costs nothing.”