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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsLeadershipOntario’s 2013 Ice Storm Reminds Us – Employee Engagement Is Not Just About ‘Feel Good’ HR Policies

Ontario’s 2013 Ice Storm Reminds Us – Employee Engagement Is Not Just About ‘Feel Good’ HR Policies

Remember the ice storm of December 2013?

As Torontonian business owners discovered last winter, being prepared for all situations that may cause their clients harm is an essential part of running a good business.

A recent article from the Toronto Star, “Poor communication, poor preparation hindered Hydro’s ice storm response: union”, points to a critical reason why employee engagement is not a ‘nice to have’ but a necessary part of being successful and profitable in the long run.

The article discusses a report compiled from the views of about 200 of Hydro’s front-line workers, revealing that they were unimpressed with Hyrdo’s response to the emergency – they thought Hydro could have had better communication, planning, and coordination.

 “They found the chain of command unclear, with workers at times being pulled off of large sites in need of major repair and being sent to either smaller areas or sites where power had already been restored.”

Hydro should not ignore this valuable insight into the perspective of their front-line workers. It could save them time in the future and help them be better prepared for the next emergency.

You Should Always Get Input from Your Employees

Toronto Ice Storm engagementGetting front-line input on issues is important for getting the wisdom of people who are much closer to the customer than any senior executive can be. Spending the time to bring these views into the corporate view and strategic thinking is not only a way to better engage employees (and gain all the benefits this entails), but great business sense. 

These front-line employees will bring you solutions that you, as an executive, will not think about. In the very least, they will be able to give you valid feedback on plans you want to put in place and good ideas on how to ensure they get implemented successfully. 

By involving them in the dialogue, you also get the second big benefit: they buy in to what you are doing and will therefore implement those plans more successfully. (Don’t believe me? Read my previous post about how WestJet does this to great success.)

Employee engagement is not just a program. It is good business.

>> An employee engagement survey will help you measure, and ultimately manage, employee engagement at your organization. Contact us today to talk about your needs.

 Need a quick way to improve your employee engagement? Click here for my FREE cheat sheet: Improving Employee Engagement in Just 10 Minutes.

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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