Saturday, 24 March 2012

Engaging with Work Experience Staff

I have just finished to write my assignment for the Internal Communications Certificate at the PR Academy.  The title of my critique is "Engaging with work experience staff. Making the right choice of approach and method". 

By being supervisor of a small multicultural team of work experience staff from October 2011 I decided to use a different way of dealing with them. In fact, beside the traditional telling and selling approach I recognized the need for them to be more involved, cared, listened to, supported and valued. Plus, the need for them of giving their own personal contribution to the job by releasing their creativity, expertise and ideas. 

My assignment explains that. 

It has been very interesting for me to develop this critique since I could examine relevant employee engagement research and put it in the context of my job. 

I first identified and explored a variety of approaches and methods of employee engagement (including the John Smythe's Four approaches to engagement in the workplace), followed by an evaluation of the drivers (including the MacLeod and Clarke Four broad enablers for employee engagement and the Robinson et al. study on Feeling valued and involved) and then I explored the role of leadership in that respect (including theories by Drucker, Tannenbaum and Schmidt, Aidair, Peter Bosse...). 

The final part of the assignment discusses the practice of and challenge in engaging with work experience staff.

I enjoyed a lot both doing the research and apply the theory on the work place. I cannot predict the mark on the assignment but I am definitely very happy with the results achieved in the workplace. I developed sincere and authentic relationships with my staff. My personal style with them is to be a caring supervisor. 

They put a great deal of efforts and devote energy on to the job and have been extremely good at developing new projects that could prove to give value to the organisation. I am so proud of them.

To date, my personal view on employee engagement is that it is a process that needs to be nurtured continuously. The applications of some interventions will not enable managers to engage with their staff. I see engagement as a managerial discipline where many approaches and drivers would need to be applied.   

The context is also of extreme importance: every organisation is unique as well as their people and every business situation is particular and specific. This should be taken into consideration by leaders when engaging with their staff.