At Penmann we place great emphasis on teamwork as an essential part of building the future prosperity of the business, so that everybody can share in our success.
Judith Lodge manages our Team Engagement programme with diverse activities, training and challenges taking place on a monthly basis.
She consistently comes up with new ideas to keep the programme fresh, relative and inclusive, recently attending an Employee Engagement Workshop at York-based Pro-Development. Led by the brilliant Michelle Mook, Pro-Development are a team of learning and development consultants helping Yorkshire SMEs attract, retain, and develop teams, to achieve business success through effective leadership and development training.
Judith took the opportunity to learn how other businesses manage Team Engagement and describes the session:
“The day began (thankfully) without the usual excruciating introductions commonplace in so many workshops and we jumped straight into the importance of employee engagement to the success of a business in terms of retaining team members, increasing productivity and profit and developing team members and leaders who inspire others.
We discussed the challenges to engaging employees in business and there were many themes common to businesses of whatever size or type. One of the main challenges that emerged was the difficulty in finding the real and actual issues within a business which prevent employees from being engaged, rather than simply thinking everything can be solved with a nice fruit bowl on a Friday afternoon.
In reality, this may in fact make matters worse as the team will feel that the real problem is being ignored or overlooked.
We looked at the cost of both getting engagement wrong and having team members who are disengaged. It is high, not just financially , although that is a factor, but also the business ends up with people who are unable to question, challenge and take accountability and who are more likely to leave the business and tell others that it is not a great place to work.
On the flip side of that, having employees who are engaged means a team who actually work as a team – looking after one another, communicating, having a sense of purpose, feeling valued, having pride in both their work and the business, trusting the leadership and feeling that they are contributing to their own and the business’s maximum success.
We also undertook an exercise to determine what you would see and how you would know when employees are engaged/neither engaged nor disengaged and actively disengaged. This threw up some interesting observations, especially under the disengaged banner as the signs aren’t always obvious.
As someone for whom team engagement is not only part of my role but also something of a passion, I found the workshop really interesting and validated many of my beliefs. Happily, Penmann do a lot of what we discussed but there’s always room for new thinking and I hope to bring some fresh ideas to our team engagement programme”.
Thanks for your insights Judith!