I couldn’t let you go without considering the whole trip I’ve just been on with my HR goggles on.
As I’ve mentioned before, this is the first time that my employer has offered employee places on a product launch event (other than the teams of employees who make them happen of course!).
This year three teams of six people from the UK, Germany and Spain were selected to have exactly the adventure I’ve just been on – or not exactly the same because I came away feeling that everyone had got something different out of the experience, in part dependent on what they brought to it.
You already know I’m no petrolhead. I’m about the experience, and the feelings. So for me this was about engaging with our product a little more and understanding more about what our Company does.
I’m already proud of what we do; and in comparison to my experiences working with other companies I’ve worked in, the tangibility of what we strive to produce is intoxicating – seeing something you’ve had a part in, however small, on every road in the country feels GOOD.
The simplified definition of engagement I prefer is an environment where you are fully involved and interested in your work, and inspired to do your best.
Every box there was ticked – for me I felt like part of a team, like my participation was valued, and I was inspired to think differently and more positively about what we do and how we do it. I was proud of my Company. It was also a lot of fun, and fun is something I’m always interested in!
For the employer I would expect to see behaviours empowering (trusting), setting expectations regarding principles and values, and focusing on satisfaction of both internal and external customers.
Talking to my colleagues we certainly all felt an expectation to work hard in recognition of the trust placed in us. This was a luxurious ‘office’, don’t get me wrong, but even though it was never articulated, we all naturally assumed a position of wanting to be worthy of the experience, to justify the Company’s trust and investment in us, and hopefully pave the way with great feedback for future events for other employees (and maybe us again!).
Although it would be hard to scale this, with 13,000 employees in the UK alone, I feel this experience worked really well as an illustration of employee engagement. Not one colleague I talked to came away without an improved view and enthusiasm for the Company. That’s got to be a good return!
There were a few elements we felt would improve the experience further – we spent a lot of the time in our own employee huddle and internal networking was great, and new friendships formed. However, while we would not want to get in the way of the ‘real work’ being undertaken by the journalists attending the event, when we did get to spend time with them over lunch on the second day it was incredibly interesting to hear about that side of things, so if I could tweak one thing I would find a way to integrate the employees with the journalists a little more. Certainly they mentioned to us that no other manufacturer had invited employees to attend in this way before…
Anyway I’ll leave the discussion for now, and reward you for all your attention with a few more of my favourite photographs…
All photos since we hit Spain (apart from the ones with me in them!) are by me, and copyright retained by me. The on-the-go posts were brought to you by the magic that is a Flashair SD card, which enabled me to use my DSLR as much as possible, and wirelessly transfer the files to my smartphone for blogging. Recommended, even if you’re not blogging about Fiestas!
Thank you to everyone who has followed my All New Fiesta Adventure, on here and on Social Media. Hopefully I’ve given a new perspective on these beautiful new cars, although I accept I also have friends and followers who will be glad when I’m just posting about my kids again…
I’ve been taking part in a really special @forduk event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be Social with me using the icons below #newfiesta #FordFiesta