In our recent HR Roundtable, we unpacked Employee Engagement and discovered some fresh ideas to motivate your team.

The Harvest Talent Recruitment & People Solutions’ HR Index Survey undertaken earlier in 2019, revealed one of the top HR priorities for many Geelong employers was ‘Employee Engagement’.

With this high on our agenda, Harvest enlisted an expert panel to deliver some fresh ideas and ways to ensure your employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organisation, and put discretionary effort into their work.

Many thanks to the panel who consisted of – Clare Verbrugge, HR Manager  Cotton On Group, Leanne Perryman, Manager People & Culture, SurfCoast Shire , Deb Nash, GM, Truffleduck and Nick Stahl, GM, Boundary Bend Limited

There was a buzz in the room as we took ideas and inspiration from the wisdom and knowledge of the panel.

Cotton On, a young, fast, fashion organisation with 15,000 employees in Australia alone. Surf Coast Shire, servicing a diverse community with a team of 440 employees, (many part-timers). Truffleduck, a leading catering and events specialist with an extraordinary ability to retain staff through their mantra “once a duck, always a duck‘. And, with 75% of Olive Oil in Australia coming from Boundary Bend Olives, we certainly had something to learn from the success of this organisation.

Employee Engagement Fresh Ideas Summary

Attendee, Christine Shaw took to Linked in with the best summary of the morning and we are pleased to share her thoughts with you:

I was lucky enough to attend an Employee Engagement event this morning, held at Deakin, attended by HR and Talent Professionals in Geelong and hosted by Harvest Talent Recruitment and People Solutions.

It was an engaging event with an expert panel.

While most of us can’t take our dog to work, have a state of the art gym on site or hug our staff, we can look at other ways to ensure employees are engaged. These are my takeaways:

  • Culture, trust and transparency are key
  • All staff want to feel valued, and they want to hear how you value them regularly, some daily
  • Providing an unexpected bonus goes a long way
  • Staff want to contribute to a deeper purpose, making a positive difference in people’s lives, giving back to the community and environment through volunteering
  • Employee recognition is changing staff now want public recognition rather than a $100 voucher
  • Celebrate your staff milestones and anniversaries
  • Let staff celebrate diversity and other significant events close to their hearts
  • Staff want the flexibility to enable life
  • Employees are engaged if they can be innovative, asking those on the ground who are doing the roles for suggestions will provide the most innovative solutions for your business success and bring your staff along
  • Offering ongoing career development opportunities for staff, so they can ‘zig-zag’ their career
  • If you see a spark of interest that is not currently in their role ensure you enable them to explore this further so they can develop more
  • Take time to understand the experience your employees are having working in your organisation by asking them and not assuming
  • Focus on your leadership, especially role modelling
  • Recruitment should focus on ensuring people are being employed on the values of your organisation and reinforce those values everywhere in the organisational no matter what the role or location
  • Offering the opportunity to buy annual leave and also to reward those that take their annual leave
  • Give staff the freedom to take risks and let them make mistakes and back them if they do
  • Everyone is responsible for employee engagement it is not just an HR role –  you need to empower staff to have the conversations and enable a culture of feedback
  • Storytelling is a powerful way to find out about employee’s commitment
  • Asking staff that have left the business why !! Listening and making changes
  • Offering opportunities to work in different location across the globe even if it is for short periods so they gain a different perspective and appreciation of the company and bring back fresh ideas

Words:  Christine Shaw, Talent Acquisitions – Talent Branding and Sourcing Specialists at Deakin University

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