Well the wait is over and the Olympic Games have finally begun in the UK. Last week I was in Boston, actually dreading my return on Thursday morning, the busiest day at Heathrow leading up to the Olympics. Imagine my surprise; I was off the plane and through immigration and customs in 15 minutes, too early for my taxi! So the message is when we want to, we can do things really well, congratulations to Heathrow and all who work there.
Just walking through the office this morning, I heard conversations about the Games taking place everywhere. I caught snippets of conversation about the opening ceremony, the cycling, volleyball and weight-lifting; the Olympic buzz has given Monday morning a real boost. People are chatting about their experiences either watching the event or attending in person and everyone has an opinion about what works and what doesn’t, why winning teams won or why a particular sportsperson lost.
Enthusiasm and excitement are not qualities that are often associated with the British, we are generally seen as a cynical and reserved nation but as the opening ceremony showed, we do have a cultural and economic history to be proud of – and it seems to have struck a chord with many of us and brought everyone together around a common interest.
So what does it take to get the people in your organisation as excited, enthusiastic and engaged with their working life? Setting realistic and achievable goals, paying them fairly and on time? Allowing as much flexibility in their work as possible so that work-life balance is taken into consideration? Perhaps ensuring that everyone knows what they are trying to achieve and giving them the training and development to ensure they are successful – and make sure that working practices are fair and equitable for all. Of course if the management team are positive and enthusiastic – that also goes a long way too!
There are many tools out there to support organisations in their aim to engage their employees positively and a workforce management solution is one. It enables organisations to automate their people processes and pay people accurately and on time so there are fewer pay queries. It enables managers to plan and schedule people with the right skills at the right time in the right place and in the most cost-effective way. It can enable organisations to undertake more flexible working practices and make sure that the processes to support this are fair and equitable across the organisation. So if the Olympics can engage a nation of cynics, what could a fully engaged workforce do for your organisation?