Engaging Public Sector Talent GovNet conference in London. It was looking at how public sector organisations can engage their staff in financially constrained times. There were some really interesting speakers, including Colin Miller at Kent County Council who has introduced Total Reward Kent - a new way to reward staff, and Paula McDonald, Deputy Director of Workforce Reform at the Cabinet Office. Some speakers weren't that relevant to housing, but the common theme running through (as if we didn't know!) was that employee engagement is about persistence, intelligent effort and creativity.
What kept crossing my mind however, was, how can I influence employee engagement from my position? As Communications Manager, I see my team's function as a kind of in-house consultancy. I want us to (and I believe we do) give an agency level service combined with an in-house understanding of the business. As well as delivering all communications for the business, we advise and counsel on strategic issues. But when it comes to deciding how the business is run, we are limited.
We know that the two biggest influences on employee engagement are leadership of the business and the line manager. From Communications, we can have bearing on leadership but it's more challenging to be able to influence line managers so that they more effectively engage their staff. More challenging - but not impossible. That's the thought I'm going to take away from today.
(The conference was at the QEII Centre opposite Big Ben. I kept meaning to take a photo but didn't get round to it, so here's a beauty from Furyksx on Flickr.)