RSA CEO calls for ‘framework’ for ‘robust employee engagement’

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Organisations should form an “alliance” to help companies achieve “robust employee engagement” and be badged a “Good Employer”, Royal Society of Arts (RSA) chief executive Matthew Taylor said last night.

Taylor was giving a speech about the importance of employee engagement as part of the RSA CEO’s annual lecture.

He called for an alliance between “progressive employers”, “organisations seeking to improve organisational effectiveness through employee engagement” – such as the CIPD and Engage for Success – and moderately inclined trade unions.

“The goal of this alliance would be to define and promulgate a framework of basic provisions – including a robust and transparent measure of employee experience, engagement and wellbeing and the provision of collective rights of information and consultation – which would together enable organisations to receive the designation of ‘Good Employer’,” he said.

He added that organisations seeking to attain this status could choose a wide number of accredited organisations – from trade unions to HR consultancies – to help them achieve it.

“Could we over time seek to make Good Employer status something which would be seen as vital to a company’s social licence to operate and which would influence consumer choice and procurement?” he asked.

Measuring success

The RSA is involved with Valuing Your Talent, an initiative launched last week to bring together academia, HR, management, finance and employee organisations to develop an agreed framework for measuring, reporting and driving investment in the value of human capital.

Taylor said improving the world of work would require new ways of thinking, and measuring the value of employees.

“If something can’t be measured it tends to be undervalued,” he said. “In the modern knowledge economy, 80% of the assets of the modern organisation – the knowledge and skills of their people – don’t appear on the balance sheet.”

He added that employee engagement would be a “major part” of a suite of valuable metrics that could help organisations to understand the contribution of people to success.

“A step change in the quality of employment will involve new ways of thinking,” Taylor said. “But it will also require innovations in the way we think about work, the way we organise work, and the way we incentivise and reward good practice.”

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