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January 2013

Survival, Sustainability & Employee Engagement

Would you say that employee engagement is essential for organisational survival?

Possibly not. After all, if reports and surveys are to be believed, very few organisations today have the levels of engagement that they can be proud of. And yet …

A report in the January 13 business section of the UK Sunday Times questioning the ability to revive the fortunes of the 129 year old institution that is Marks & Spencer, tells a sad story. It describes conversations with two named employees. The first apparently states, “The ready meal section is great and the dips are perfect for a dinner party.” However, when asked about the clothes (the historic foundation of the retailer’s business) she says, “I’ve never been upstairs. I’ve never asked a friend where her top is from and heard ‘M&S’. And you wouldn’t want to admit it if it was.”  Her friend agreed. “The last clothing I bought was a pair of bed socks for my dad. My mum is 50 – too young to be getting clothes from here.”

Wow! With comments like that from the company’s own employees, you really do have to worry for its future, don’t you?  But is it the employees’ fault or management’s?

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