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Blog : 21st Century HR (#6): Engagement as a continuous cycle


21st Century HR (#6): Engagement as a continuous cycle

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Jane Sunley, best-selling business author and Founder of Purple Cubed

When people start talking about employee engagement, I know from experience that these are quite often viewed as the ‘obvious’ solutions. However, when you think about it, we all know that ‘telling’ is seldom effective.

Whilst I agree it’s good to get people together and get them excited about the plan, it’s important to task them with working out how to deliver whatever it is you’re proposing, be it cultural, tactical or strategic. And at the same time to ensure they own this, also working out how to make it measurable and sustainable.

Isolated initiatives seldom bring the returns people think they will because other priorities, (maybe even new initiatives!) appear on the horizon, enthusiasm fizzles out, momentum is lost and all of that time, effort and good intention falls by the wayside.

In fact, influential sources such as McKinsey, HBR, Towers Watson and Forbes indicate that 70% of change projects fail. Employee engagement is a business critical subject and should be treated as such with proper planning and a strategic, rather than tactical, approach. This is a marathon, not a sprint.


  • Have a continuous, ongoing plan - we base this around our Purple Plan
  • Clearly identify quick wins (low cost, easy to do, high impact) as well as short, medium and long term actions and aspirations. – think about why, what and what if (filling in the how later)
  • Start small, keep it simple, reviewing over and over with clear metrics

To discuss your engagement strategy, or for a purple plan diagnostic, contact simon@purplecubed.com

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