Improving employee engagement

October 2010

Dear clients,

Organisations with high engagement levels experience positive returns on talent outcomes, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line. The Corporate Leadership Council identified for example that companies with a highly engaged workforce derive the following benefits:

• Employees work 57% harder and are 9 times less likely to leave

• Average three-year revenue growth of 20.1% as compared to industry average of 8.9%

• Higher stock price over a period of 3 years as compared to a sample of 500 leading companies in a variety of industries

• Three times higher EBITA growth as compared to industry average

Despite all these benefits, a recent analysis by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company, shows that employee engagement and morale in the workplace are declining. Hewitt’s research shows that 46 percent of organizations experienced a decline in engagement levels in the quarter ending June 2010, while just 30 percent saw an improvement. These trends are confirmed by other research studies.

In this edition of the LeMaSa Chronicle we reflect on what organizations can do to improve employee engagement and also provide you with more background on Consciousness Coaching.

Enjoy the start of Summer and the rush to finish everything before the December holidays!

Regards

Sandra Schlebusch

Improving employee engagement
Improving employee engagement

“Engagement doesn't actually mean anything on its own without understanding the constituent parts. Which is, I think, why a lot of organisations still struggle with the concept. Engagement is actually simply a small bucket within the bigger bucket of human capital. And just as each organisation needs to decide what human capital it needs, it needs to define engagement for itself “(Jon Ingham, 2009).

Engagement is a psychological state that employees can be in when performing their work. In engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during work performance. Engagement is influenced by organisational and personal drivers.

In the Talent Management Magazine Industry News (4 August 2010) the following key factors as uncovered by Hewitt were listed. According to Hewitt, companies with improved engagement levels:

• Focus on the long term and made workforce changes consistent with their principles and values and without losing sight of their overall goals;

• Obtain buy-in from leadership: Engagement is a top priority for leaders at companies that saw improved engagement scores. Leaders at these organizations were visible and provided ongoing updates to reduce employee uncertainty and stress. They also created excitement among employees about the future of the organization;

• Implement measurable actions: Successful organizations use employee information as a call to action rather than an assessment;

• Involve all stakeholders: Organizations with improved engagement understand that creating a "high engagement" environment requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders. They communicate to these stakeholders to ensure everyone is clear on their role in the process and on the employment value proposition;

• Understand key employee segments: Successful organizations understand that not all employees are necessarily equal. They focus on key segments and critical talent so that they’re able to engage or re-engage them once the job market improves;

• Usze a broader array of information and analytics: Almost three-qu arters conduct exit surveys to understand why employees are leaving and proactively identify potential hot spots.

Companies that are successful at improving engagement in spite of all the economic pressures are the ones that create an environment focused on key human capital elements. (http://talentmgt.com/industry_news/2010/August/5245/index.php)

Consciousness Coaching
In this contribution information is quoted verbatim from two websites, namely http://www.consciousnesscoaching.co.za/index.php/about/consciousness-coaching/ and http://www.marcsteinberg.com/Downloads/Consciousness-Coaching-article.pdf Over the past few years, people from all walks of life have recognised the benefits of having someone to help them shift their thinking – and their lives – to new levels of possibility. As a result, the coaching industry has seen substantial growth worldwide. One of the most significant events in the growth of this industry has been the introduction of Consciousness Coaching®, distilled from cosmopolitan contributions and honed here in South Africa. So how does Consciousness Coaching® differ from other life coaching or business coaching? Consciousness Coaching® is built on Professional Coaching according to the standards of the International Coach Federation (ICF), with the added dimension of Awareness Creation (AC) as developed by Marc Steinberg. The AC component makes the individual aware of areas that are beyond normal human consciousness – a whole dimension that most people simply aren’t even aware that they don’t know about. Real breakthroughs happen in the material world when your thinking expands to embrace possibilities that are outside of the ‘box’ of conventional consciousness. As Einstein observed, ‘The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them’. Normal life coaching or business coaching empowers the individual on the ‘same level of thinking’, which is effective, but limited. When we merge standard coaching practice with the highly developed Awareness Creation process, we move into the limitless realm of Consciousness Coaching®. So many coaching clients are fighting an impossible battle against their ego; the mind says “I am confident, powerful and charismatic” and the ego says: “Yeah right, you fool!” No wonder most methods prove ineffective in the long run. How does Consciousness Coaching® work? If we see the ego as the framework in which we think and feel (‘I’ and then comes ‘think’ and ‘feel’, not the other way round) then it’s obvious that this framework, what Marc Steinberg the developer of Consciousness Coaching ® refers to as consciousness, has to be transformed as well. In fact, consciousness has to be made fit to operate on a more powerful, efficient level. Only then, so concludes Steinberg, can we expect a lasting change for the better. To access consciousness itself is quite a sophisticated and demanding science. One needs to have a thorough understanding of ontology (the science of being) in order to fully comprehend the Consciousness Coaching ® approach. It is the process to make visible the water for the fish, the air for the bird and in our case, the being for us human beings. The Consciousness Coach ® has to initiate that the client spins around himself so fast that he starts seeing himself from the back. That’s the ‘Aha’-moment, that’s the opening up of a whole new awareness, a new possibility that didn’t exist before. Consciousness Coaching ® clients experience this phenomenon as a huge release of energy, passion and clarity. Suddenly new horizons are made visible, and who wouldn’t be excited about that? However, the core task Consciousness Coaching® has to achieve is to distinguish and detach the self from the ego. Normally they are perceived as one and therefore not perceived at all, remember the water for the fish isn’t part of his awareness. Once the client has established and integrated this extraordinary level of awareness, to see his/her self distinct from his/her ego, he/she is now in the position to root him/herself in this self and to think, feel and act from there. The ego degenerates to it’s original function, namely to be an ‘organ’ like the mind or the brain and serve the human being instead of running it. To initiate and facilitate this process of shifting into one’s self is the unique trademark of Consciousness Coaching ®. Marc Steinberg is proud of his development, saying that he sees in it the next generation of human development techniques. “Many clients of the current coaching methods like Life Coaching, Executive Coaching etc. are kind of disillusioned with regard to the promises coaching has created. The real reason lies not in the assumed limits of coaching itself but rather in the limited scope the facilitators of these methods do have.”