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As we get underway with the launch of our 2018 UK & European Employee Engagement Awards, we at the Engagement Zone will be interviewing judges for the upcoming event. Today, the Engagement Zone sits down with Pag Miles – Global Head of Partnerships at Alexander Mann Solutions.

EZ: What does employee engagement mean to you?

PAG: My favourite definition is by Forbes in 2012. “Employee Engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals”.

My definition would be along the lines of “The ability for your employees to truly have belief, in what you do and why you do it”.

EZ: What are your three tips to companies looking to drive engagement in their organisations?

PAG:

  1. Take a data-driven approach. For example, think about how every element of the feedback you ask for links to key metrics that drive the business strategy
  2. Make the process/experience as simple, fast and focussed as possible for your candidates or employees, while keeping continuous listening in mind vs one point in time.
  3. Be transparent about why you are doing it, share the actions that will be put in place from the feedback as well as the results created.

It is also important to think about the technology and skills required to execute on the points above.

EZ: What do you feel are the biggest pitfalls that companies should look to avoid when executing their engagement strategy?

PAG: Not being transparent with their employees about what engagement means to the organisation.

No action being taken from the feedback.

Making the process/experience complex and time-consuming.

Not gaining insight from the data collected or linking to the business strategy

EZ: Why do employees fail to buy in when companies try to ramp up engagement?

PAG: They might see it as an annual tick boxing exercise, where no action is taken. The process itself can be very time consuming and the experience unfriendly to complete. Where is the value/benefit in this for me? Will be the question employees will be asking themselves.

EZ: What skills are most useful for everyone to have when trying to move towards a culture of engagement?

PAG: There are many skills required however I would say the most important is emotional intelligence.

EZ: You’re a judge for the Employee Engagement awards. What will you be looking for in the entries?

PAG: Where organisations have tried something different while remembering the three key pillars of driving engagement as mentioned in question 2.

EZ: How important do you think it is to connect Employee Experience to the Customer Experience and why?

PAG: Very important. I think it is critical that organisations start seeing Customer and Employee Experience as both adding the same strategic value. Organisations need to start using at “design thinking” approach and looking at the lessons learnt from Customer Experience and apply to their Employee Experience. I believe the two have a direct correlation, so improving Employee Engagement will drive Customer Experience up.

EZ: What’s the best EE idea you’ve seen a company roll out/attempt and wish you’d had that idea yourself?

PAG: What impressed me was seeing an organisation understanding what their business strategy challenges were and having the ability to place laser focus on using employee engagement to have a direct impact.

The example was gathering feedback from a particular employee population that were “in the field”, listening to them and putting actions in place. The employees’ KPIs were low, as they were finding their jobs difficult to complete due to bad weather conditions. After hearing the feedback the organisation invested in waterproof jackets and saw within a short time scale the employee’s KPIs increase, which led to a £10m saving.

EZ: Since you entered the world of work, what’s the best experience you’ve had?

PAG: Inclusion is so important to me and I think culture plays a critical role. My experience is feeling included in everything I do, whether working on a pitch or playing.

EZ: What’s the worst?

PAG: Having an internal meeting booked with a senior colleague which he accepted, but after finding out that I was on a lower grade, cancelled. I was later told but another colleague that he only had internal meetings with colleagues in the same grade.

EZ: Which person (dead or alive) would you love to be able to come in and speak to your workforce/colleagues?

PAG: Will Ferrell.

EZ: Favourite song to crank up after a tough day at work?

PAG: Jan Hammer’s “Crockett’ Theme” tune from the 80s series, Miami Vice.

EZ: Best place in the world you have visited?

PAG: Driving through New York at 1.30am. The city really does never sleep.

EZ: The place you’d most like to visit?

PAG: Tokyo

NOTE: Entries for the UK & European and ANZ  Employee Engagement Awards are now open. For your chance to be recognised as a great place to work, click the link here.