Employee Voices do Matter

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At MACS, understanding and improving employee engagement is vital. It means far more than talking up positive attitudes and behaviours that simply trigger improved business. And recently, MACS completed an intelligent survey of employee engagement. From an amazing response of 80% of paid staff, the survey revealed an overwhelming commitment to MACS’ values. Nearly all respondents connected with all five of MACS’ values.

For David Macleod , understanding employee engagement is about “how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”. Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity, two way commitment and communication between an organisation and its members.  Yes, it’s an approach that increases the chances of any business success. Yes it contributes to organisational and individual performance as well as productivity. But in the mix, staff engagement contributes to staff well-being. http://engageforsuccess.org/what-is-employee-engagement

MACS is working toward staff engagement and perhaps it might look something like this when staff go off to work thinking:

I can’t wait to go to work.

I know what I’m going to do today and I have all the right information and training to do it.

I’ve got some great ideas about how to improve my job performance.

I’m looking forward to working well with the team.

I feel respected and valued in the workplace no matter what my job role is.

I feel empowered at work.

I am informed about what is happening in the workplace.

Dignity and diversity are values that are practiced in my workplace.

Drawing on employees’ knowledge and ideas to improve services, MACS can look to harness more innovation and re-imagining in future work practices. These make for best practice quality care.

But the MACS’ survey is not a one trick pony. It will simply plant the seeds of fostering of an ongoing culture of staff engagement. Shorter pulse surveys are planned to follow up in identified areas for improvement. All the same, follow up will still revolve around trust, integrity, entrenched heightened commitment to values and effective meaningful communication within MACS.

Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith in her How the Best Places to Work are Nailing Employee Engagement, Forbes magazine, supports this practice of using employee engagement surveys. She writes that they “are just one of the ways the best companies get a pulse on their workforce.” Companies that actually “nail” or are skilled at employee engagement clearly identify what matters to employees. That way, they get to understand what motivates high performance and talent within a business strategy. That is, harnessing the collective employee intention to improve workplace functionality.

In his 7-employee-engagement-trends-2016, David Mizne comments that one of the biggest trends towards employee engagement is the arrival of the new breed of workplace pulse tools. These are advanced methods for having regular check-ins with employees to understand where they are being challenged. These will replace annual performance reviews. This is where MACS finds itself.

Mizne also rightly adds that business is not a fixed object. It’s living and breathing. It’s alive. It necessarily undergoes change and growth.

And perhaps in this context, here at MACS we can think of ourselves as a living and breathing body system. It supports life in a flourishing work culture. This should not be a hard task. Especially if 84% of staff felt proud to be working at MACS – a figure significantly higher than over 1000 other workplaces in Australia and New Zealand.

And for MACS, understanding of what matters to employees clearly slots in with its practice of celebrating diversity. Aspiring to respect the uniqueness and worth of each individual at MACS and what they contribute is historical. For over twenty-one years MACS has held diversity as a core value. From the survey, diversity and empowerment have the biggest impact on the workforce.

But now, as an aged care provider of choice and an employer of choice, MACS has found a new way to check how its workplace culture is changing. And what else needs to change. Then it can enhance, energise and embolden its purpose, objectives and those deep-rooted values.

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