Pay cuts, recruitment freezes, slashed budgets, redundancies and the promise of worse to come. Many organisations have already had a tough couple of years but the white-knuckle ride seems set to continue as the new Government cuts into public spending.
The CIPD's last quarterly Employee Outlook survey suggests that staff are working harder and longer hours than ever before. However, organisations that become complacent about their existing staff are potentially building up a storehouse of conflict that can directly and indirectly sabotage an organisation's best-laid plans.
Employee engagement needs to be high on the agenda if the organisation wants to continue to function with more limited resources. While organisations take great care to craft their corporate communications, the reality is that for most staff, the words and actions of the line manager is likely to be the biggest key influence on whether staff are will be on board or not.
One of the most effective things that line managers can do to encourage employee engagement is to spend time talking to each individual staff member about their career as opposed to their job. Encouraging staff to be honest about their career concerns and aspirations is the key to finding ways in which organisational and individual objectives can be more effectively entwined. Yet this is a strategy that is vastly underused within organisations.