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Can You Legislate Employee Engagement?

Recognize This! – Providing more than ideas and recommendations is necessary to help organizations embrace real strategies to engage employees.

What does it take to move “employee engagement” from buzzword or annual survey exercise to actual workforce change? Obviously, it requires investment and commitment at an organization level. But what could happen if that investment and commitment were made at a national level?

The UK is about to find out.

“The Employee Engagement Task Force, which includes academics, consultants and research houses, is publishing the website providing advice, tools and networking opportunities to UK employers. The website will go live on 26 November and will be accompanied by a series of free workshops across the country.”

This is the culmination of years of work that began with the detailed MacLeod Report on Employee Engagement. Digging deeper into what’s coming, we can see the Task Force is offering more than vague recommendations or ideas. They are also offering:

  1. Tools and resources
  2. Opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking
  3. Shareholder valuation

This last point is particularly interesting. As far as I can tell at this stage, the Task Force is giving shareholders a reason to include employee engagement in how they value companies.

The title of my post is a bit misleading. The UK government is not legislating employee engagement, but they are putting skin in the game to help employers figure out how to engage their employees to increase productivity and performance across UK organizations.

What impact do you think this is likely to have for UK businesses? For my American colleagues, how would you potentially see something similar playing out in the US?