OVER LANCASHIRE -- There's a Stefan Stern review in today's FT of a book called "The Extra Mile" by David MacLeod and Chris Brady. (Come to think of it, I know David. I used to work with him... Hmm. I wonder if I have to be nicer now?)
The list of what companies need to do to create "employee engagement" goes something like this:
- high ethical standards
- clear core values
- employees who respect management
- managers who consult employees
- a cure for all known diseases...
Okay. I kind of added that last one.
But the list does go on. And it is too long and too complicated. And not apparently inter-connected.
We consultants have become like doctors and lawyers: we'll ask you lots of questions, take lots of notes... (this bit is important:) suck air noisily through your front teeth, and say "this is going to be complicated."
But it is not!
Or, at least, it doesn't have to be.
People come to work... to work. (You heard it here first!)
So, at its most simple, you need to focus on giving people something interesting to get on with. And let them get on with it.
Yes, this is harder than it sounds.
But if you think about it that way, all the other stuff falls into place.
P.S. I think I am sitting beside Fabio Capello. How cool is that?