· 1 min read · Features

Engage for Success couldn't come at a better time for HR

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At a point in the year when many of us in HR are deep in planning for 2013 and thinking about how we can maintain or improve performance, most likely with smaller budgets or smaller teams than before, the arrival of Engage for Success couldn’t come at a better time.

It provides a timely reminder - not that we should need one - that the way we treat our people will define the success of our organisations in the year ahead and, more significantly, our ability to perform well in the longer term.

It also provides an important reminder for HR that if you are trying to draw employees to the goals you have set for your organisations and how they can support them, you can't do this without the support of your managers.

So what can HR do to ensure managers support engagement and performance? I think there are four things:

  • Champion the cause of managers in our organisations ensuring their role in engagement and performance is understood and recognised. Senior managers may lead the business and take decisions but the fact is, day-to-day, managers are the leaders that really matter to employees throughout our organisations. HR needs to champion these champions.
  • Start collaborating - take responsibility for shifting behaviour from simply telling managers what needs to be done, to listening to what they need in order to engage and deliver performance from colleagues.
  • Provide the right support - act as an enabler as well as a business partner, taking concrete action to ensure managers have the tools and skills they need to motivate and reward their teams for behaviour which supports the organisation and its goals.
  • Open up the loop - ensure the contribution of managers is clearly highlighted in organisational performance and that communication is feeding back up as well as cascading down the organisation.

In an environment where we are faced with the challenge of delivering results with fewer resources, the launch of Engage for Success providers us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on what really matters: the employees who service our customers and the managers who support them.

If, as HR practitioners we can help reshape the way our organisations work with these people, with a focus on engagement, performance and success will follow.

Andy Philpott (pictured) is sales and marketing director of Edenred