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Keeping good people engaged

Like it or not, even the best of people can become unsettled in the workplace.  This includes those who are considered to be 'part of the furniture.'

What causes a person then to become unsettled?

Believe it or not, in my experience a lot of unsettling comes down to listening.  Giving people a good listening to, is key to engagement.  Good people are usually the quiet ones.  They just get on with the job and don't make much fuss, but as a result they can easily be taken for granted at senior level.

Another contributor is appraisal, that controversial term that often makes people uneasy for all the reasons you might expect. Regardless what a person's experience has been, one thing is certain; each member of staff has the right to be heard by any progressive organisation.  Whether it's a structured sit down or an informal chat over a cup of tea, it's good practice to meet with the people to hear their outlook on life in the company.  Giving staff members opportunity to express their views is actually very liberating - believe it or not.

Of course, there are those who stay clear of this because they think it's an opportunity for a moan, or to be hit with a bunch of awkward questions. What they don't consider however, is that the moaning may be going on behind their back anyhow, so it's best to front up and snuff out rumours and frustrations directly.

When staff members are listened to, they perform better.  Not only do they perform better, but they become engaged and are present.  Those who don't get listened to, may be present (i.e. physically) but are often not engaged.