One of the unique features of the ‘An Even Better Place to Work” (BP2W) engagement solution is the “Satisfaction at Work” (S@W) diagnostic, which allows individuals, in a team, department or group environment to measure their level of engagement around 7 key areas, and then more importantly take responsibility for addressing and improving the concern scores that are indicated through online speed training interventions, resources and supporting materials.

By having each team in the organisation complete the S@W diagnostic, it provides even more meaning for senior leaders who are able to see the levels of engagement across their teams and in so doing, gives them an indication of the effectiveness of their leadership.

An elegant way to grow leadership across the business is for the MD/GM/directors to have conversations with division leaders about the S@W scores for their part of the business, division leaders can then have conversations with team leaders and then team leaders with individual team members.

What is happening in some organisations (which is encouraging) is the MD puts aside an afternoon and invites all the division leaders to present the S@W data for their part of the business to the leadership team. This ensures the leadership team has up-to-date people data and can make interventions to ensure there are no people crises.

We spend lots of money supporting IT, preventing computer breakdowns and under- performance. How much is spent supporting people, preventing their under-performance? We need to take a different approach to leadership, employee engagement and the art of ‘simply getting the best` from people, by utilising, empowering and developing junior and middle managers in the art of engagement, as they are best positioned to engage at team level.  Using this approach the question constantly asked by the people and their teams is “What are we going to do?” not “What is management going to do?” The result is that BP2W is 5% diagnostic and a 95% people solution that is driven by individuals not management.

But I don’t have the time you might say! People come to work to have their needs met. If their needs are not met in the workplace you can expect, higher absenteeism, blame, criticism and increased disengagement. If all your people ever hear is management’s agenda and the business agenda but never their own agenda, expect them to disengage and underperform.

Leading your people and getting the best from them is about connecting with their needs. Do you know the needs of your people? If not how can you lead them effectively?

To take the ‘hit and miss’ out of your leadership, talk to your people about their needs – What are their needs? – Are they being met? – What can be done about it?

“But I haven’t time for these conversations, we need to deliver the numbers” There is always pressure to deliver the numbers and your ability to deliver these numbers is linked to how motivated your people are. That motivational energy flows from people’s needs being met.

Do you know the motivational needs of your team? “But I don’t have the time” you reply, which is a bit like saying “I want to go to Durban, but I haven’t the time to travel”. In other words leadership is not going to happen. You just cannot lead effectively if you don’t connect with the needs of your people.

If you genuinely cannot find the time to get to know the needs of your people, you may wish to discuss this issue with management. For leadership to happen, we need to budget time for people to lead and resource them – give them a system, tools and information.

Adapted from a post by Shay McConnon CEO of McConnon International and our website

For more information  or contact Iain Johnston on 0834104440 or


Leadership is about individualising not universalising. It is responding to the specific needs of an individual rather than behaving in standard, generic ways.

Leadership is complex. It is not realistic to expect one person to be “getting it right” for his/her colleagues no matter how many leadership courses they have attended. Leadership is likely to be most effective when viewed as a partnership between the leader and the led. When people are willing to engage and take ownership for being led rather than sitting back and expecting the team leader to be solely responsible for leading.

Do we pass ownership for my health to my doctor? Of course not! While the doctor is a significant resource in maintaining my health, we are responsible for my own well-being. Do we pass ownership for our appreciation and motivation levels onto our team leader? This happens in the “entitlement” culture where people blame others for not meeting their expectations and often do little themselves.

At the heart of the An Even Better Place to WorkTM solution is this engagement of colleagues and people taking ownership for their issues and Satisfaction @ Work levels. This will only work in a culture where people are open, welcome feedback and connect with each other’s needs. It is precisely this culture that An Even Better Place to WorkTM is designed to create.

It is in the context of joint responsibility for leading and being led that leadership across the company grows. This model of shared leadership will not only improve satisfaction levels for your staff but will free up your managers’ time to focus on the strategic side of their role.

The question constantly asked is “What am I going to do?” not “What is management going to do?”


The approach uses seven indicators to measure Employee Engagement and by implication the impact of leadership in your company. 

People who are well led:

  1. Feel Valued – they feel appreciated and appropriately rewarded – people believe in them – they are made to feel special and hence they act special.
  2. Are Open – they are receptive to new ideas and engage in genuine two-way communication – can talk freely about a wide range of topics including those delicate and difficult issues.
  3. Engage in Feedback – they recognise the importance of regular constructive feedback to improving performance levels.
  4. Are Motivated – their abilities are recognised and utilised – they have positive feelings about the job and their colleagues and have an intrinsic drive to achieve and support each other.
  5. Manage Differences – they create collaborative relationships with colleagues and ensure that differences are not allowed to get in the way but are seen as a source of strength.
  6. Take Ownership – they take ownership for getting their needs met rather than moan behind backs. They view leadership as a partnership and take joint responsibility with the leader for being led.
  7. Are Conflict Free – they engage in proactive feedback and hence dysfunctional conflict is minimised and time is not wasted.

An Even Better Place to WorkTM quickly creates a well-led, motivated and highly productive workforce. For more information contact iain on 0834104440 or

Adapted from a post by Shay McConnon CEO of McConnon International and our website

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The Northern Business Review is a business community newspaper that provides a platform for businesses to market their products and services, as well as build their brand, but equally important the publication provides information, advice and topics of interest, including business, entrepreneurial, economic reviews and simple ideas to grow your business. The publication has a primary objective to “uniquely” represent businesses to a wide audience across the community as well as provide a media platform of business articles and information that affect, influence and uplift the business environment within our defined geographical and cultural community.


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