The Evening

On Tuesday 28th November 2017 we celebrated the launch of the Instinctif Partners & The Employee Engagement Alliance partnership. Ruth Dance (Managing Director of The Employee Engagement Alliance) welcomed us all and explained the theme of the night – great partnerships.

From the delicious canapés and drinks to the rolling images on the big screens, each depicted a perfect pairing: Beef and Horseradish, Salmon and Dill, Gin and Tonic, Wallace and Gromit, Ant and Dec…

Sarah Harrison (Business Development Manager at Instinctif Partners) highlighted the difference real partnerships can make. Some of the world’s most successful brands such as Apple, Google and Twitter, have been built from strong partnerships. When looking at what made their combined skill sets successful there are some key stand-outs: Many are formed through long-term relationships, recognising the unique skills each partner brings and having a combined ambition that reaches beyond personal gain.

Instinctif partners and The EEA have formed a genuine friendship and recognise that it is through being great partners and using joint members and networks, that we will move faster to continue the revolution in the engagement space. We will be working together to bring members learning events, networking events, online content and webinars in order to help organisations elevate employee engagement.

The Panel

The panel discussion for the evening was chaired by Ruth who was joined by three brilliant engagement experts:

  • David Littlechild – Head of Culture and Engagement at Lloyds Banking Group
  • Deborah Copeland – Head of pan BT Campaigns at BT Group
  • Amy Brann – Neuroscience expert and author of ‘Engaged’, ‘Make Your Brain Work’ and ‘Neuroscience for Coaches’.

What was your biggest success in 2017?

David – There have been two main successes: Firstly the introduction of Jive – a collaboration platform to change the way people think about the way they interact, work with each other and share learning; and secondly having survey agendas more focused around wellbeing, resilience and agility.

Deborah – Customer experience is a big priority for us.  Over the last two years we’ve taken our people on a journey to explain what customer experience is, why it’s important and the role that they have to play.  We’re seeing great momentum and a big uplift in pride in our customer service, and importantly customers are also noticing, with perception improving over 16 months.

Amy – In my work with Accenture a large group of senior leaders committed to recognising they had ‘human beings’ working for them and they, admirably, are acting on the need to understand how they work and treat them as such which is rare in large organisations at a senior level.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Amy – In times of uncertainty many employers want resilience from their employees, however many companies are recognising the problems too late. The challenge is to already have a solid foundation and recognise potential issues before they transpire.

Deborah – It’s really important that we manage the volume of comms for our people, that we’re clear on the priorities and help direct discretionary effort in the right places.

David – The biggest challenge is to realise companies are already data rich. By using the same data in different ways we can create richer insights and get to the point a lot quicker. The challenge is getting people to see the value in the data they already have.

What will be your biggest focus in 2018

Deborah – Customer experience will continue to be a big focus for us across all our business units.

Amy – Building curiosity within individuals. Research shows that getting people curious about themselves can have an incredible range of benefits. People need to be given time and space to do this.

David – In the new year we will be launching our new strategic review. Our focus will be encouraging people to think about learning new skills. We will also be thinking about how to make Lloyds an attractive proposition for all the new players in the market in 2020 where there will be five generations in the workplace.

What do you think the trends will be?

David – Continuous listening. Where a main survey has a place, there is a danger in moving towards constant surveys which will create fatigue, confusion and yet more unnecessary data. I expect an increase in people analytics and using data more intelligently.

Deborah – I think we will continue to see the proliferation of social tools. I have also seen a peak in organisations around employee advocacy and that blurring of the internal and the external which presents a massive opportunity, but also something that needs to be carefully managed.

Amy – I hope to see a future that is smarter where we utilise all the technology available to us so that more humans can spend time thinking, being and connecting. Where companies know what their employees are experiencing and feeling without the need for a survey.

What challenges do you anticipate we will run into next year?

Deborah – Due to unprecedented external and political circumstances, I’m sure it will be bumpy at times.  But if you have a clear vision, focus on your customers and give people a strong sense of purpose then that will see you through.

David – Organisations that have been working on culture and engagement for a number of years are in a stronger position. Those who know what drives the right culture and engagement will be in a stronger position than those that don’t.

Amy – It could be an opportunity for companies to support people to approach a big challenge in a different way. If we continue to reinforce that challenge means stress, overworking and disaster then we’re going to see exactly that, but if we take the opportunity to support each other and minimise stress, it could be an opportunity.

Questions from the floor:

What kinds of methods should be used in place of surveys ?

David – Line manager conversations on a day to day basis generate vital intelligence. The line manager should already know the results that come from surveys. Richness of conversations and leadership capability in terms of communication is important.

Deborah – When having events you should try and build a feedback mechanism into what you’re doing, rather than waiting until after the event. The more you can have actual conversations the richer your insights will be.

Amy – Conversation is key and should be working better for us.

How can we engage millennials in the workplace when we don’t understand how they work or think?

Amy – They are human too! Quite often neuroscience suggests that questions commonly asked about millennials are human trends rather than specifically millennial.

Deborah – The way we try and approach it is to segment our audiences and get a genuine understanding for their communication preferences. But I think it’s always important to not over-generalise and box people into categories.

David – Deloitte research has shown the tipping point of when people stay and engage or disengage and leave a company is between 6-10 years and that by 2020 that will change to 8 months. The only companies that will survive this change are the ones whose employee proposition is true.

Amy – Remember that there is an opportunity to reshape people. Although statistics may say employees of the future will stay no longer than 8 months, you can create companies where people will stay a lifetime.

After the panel discussion, the networking, sharing and relationship building continued into the evening.

A huge thanks to everyone for attending, in particular our panelists David, Deborah and Amy and our new partners Instinctif Partners.


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