Some great ideas from current CIPD research:


1. Look out for subtle signs that your employees are becoming less engaged with your business as you grow. This might manifest itself as employees lacking the passion they once had for the business and being less willing to go the extra mile. However, many SME owners say they just have an instinctive feeling that things are not quite right, which signals the need to re-engage the workforce with the founding purpose and values of the organisation.

2. Articulate your purpose and values in a way that reflects your founding principles but also in a way that your people can identify with. It is important to communicate your values in words that really mean something to your employees. Use focus groups to get employee feedback and discuss what your values actually mean in practice in terms of attitudes and behaviours.

3. Tell your story. Ensure that your employees understand the back-story of your business as well as their role in building its future to increase their engagement and sense of ownership. For example, devise training or an induction for new starters that includes a section on the company’s journey.

4. Consider how introducing new formal processes and procedures will affect your business culture. Try to avoid introducing processes which get in the way of efficiency and flexibility, like cumbersome forms or lengthy sign-off processes which complicate simple tasks and impact on customer service standards.

5. Your values and purpose need to be the golden thread through all your people practices, especially your recruitment processes. When hiring new staff, think beyond technical capabilities and look for people who fit with your culture and whose personal values and ways of working match those of the organisation. Cultural fit is something that can’t be learnt.

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