Jenny Perkins from Cirrus comments in CIPD engagement report

The complexities of engagement

Jenny Perkins, Head of Engagement at Cirrus, has been quoted in a new paper from the CIPD, The challenges and opportunities facing HR in 2017.

The paper is part of the CIPD’s Industry Insights series and finds that change management is the primary cause for concern amongst HR leaders and the biggest focus of the year ahead.

The survey reveals that in 2016, 60% of respondents achieved their strategic goals in some areas, but not all – and only 8% achieved all of their goals.

Jenny is quoted in the section on ‘The complexities of engagement’. Engagement is one of the top three challenges for 2017, according to 42% of survey respondents.

Jenny was asked about the paradox that surrounds ‘engagement’. The authors of the report contend that it is a term the HR profession fears the absence of, yet struggles to define.

Her view has always been that successful engagement is all about connecting people to your organisation’s purpose, strategy and goals, often requiring a shift in behaviour.

“For me, it’s definitely not about creating happiness,” says Jenny. “People being happy doesn’t always take you to where your organisation needs to go, which is what I think engagement is all about – bringing people on a journey.”

Jenny has led many successful engagement programmes with major client organisations. She incorporates techniques such as road mapping to co-create engagement journeys, storytelling to creatively engage surveys, and role playing, which enables people to experience challenging situations in a supportive environment. Jenny has also successfully introduced disruption techniques, which place people in unfamiliar situations, forcing them to think about things in new ways.  These techniques can really help to shift people’s mindsets and also encourage them to take responsibility for achieving change goals.

You can download the paper here.

Read more about the Cirrus approach to engagement here.

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