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Employee engagement drive 'must go beyond surveys'

2 April 2013

Archie Norman has bemoaned the fact that commitment to improving engagement in the British workplace is often only "skin-deep".

Writing in the Telegraph, the ITV chairman noted that engagement has become "the new buzzword" in corporate discussions and the link between more engaged employees and increased productivity is now widely accepted.

Despite this, research has shown that the UK still ranks behind many other large economies in terms of employee engagement.

Mr Norman, who joined Asda as chief executive in the early 1990s and helped to turn round a near-bankrupt company, said achieving genuine improvements in engagement requires a deep commitment from business leaders.

This means going beyond "a survey run by the HR department" and making sure employees feel truly involved in decisions that are made in the workplace, he explained.

"Commitment has to be connected to something people want to be part of and a way in which they can personally effect change," he said.

Mr Norman was famously the only applicant for the role as chief executive of Asda. He returned the supermarket chain to major growth and it was bought by US retail giant Wal-Mart in 1999 for £6.7 billion.

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Categories: Retail


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