Exploring Employee Engagement in the Public Sector

It was great to get out and about this week to attend the Engage for Success event, ‘Employee Engagement in the Public Sector’ – especially as I got to see some familiar faces! What I loved most, though, was the range of content from across the public sector, including case studies from HMRC, the Royal Air Force and Norfolk County Council, along with a touch of behavioural economics thrown into the mix! There were a few bits that really resonated with me:

  • It’s great to see people move away from using employee engagement as a focus. It’s really lost its meaning and become just another buzz word. I loved seeing HMRC’s approach to looking at culture over the long-term and using insights from their survey to inform everything they do.
  • Sarah Shirtcliff and Ruth Grant from Norfolk County Council were also super inspiring as they used stories to really bring to life what it truly means to engage people around a purpose. It got me thinking that we sometimes produce our best work when in crisis mode – it makes us pull together! How can we create interventions in the workplace to bring out this fighting spirit?
  • I loved the energy that Glenn Tunstall brought to the event too – now working in consulting but having formerly held a senior position in the Met Police. He really used the power of storytelling to reinforce how hard it is to change the culture, wherever you are, and to keep going despite all the setbacks. This reminds me of so many conversations I’ve had with clients over the years. Resilience is key and makes it even more important to have strong peer networks inside and outside the organisation to keep you going and pick you up when you’re having a bad day. He also reinforced the need to remind people what you have done – the ‘You Said, We Did’ approach that we often talk about at WorkBuzz.
  • Finally – and the bit that brought tears to my eyes – was the session run by Tony Vickers-Byrne from CIPD on ‘compassion in the workplace’. This was a really thought-provoking session and if you’re working on any D&I projects, then I’d strongly recommend taking a peak at the video – but grab a tissue before you do! 

It’s always great to get yourself out of the office for the day, to give yourself the space to take in new ideas and learn from others. It’s my New Year’s resolution to do more of this and I’m really looking forward to attending the Employee Engagement Conference in April. Hopefully, we’ll see some of you there!

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