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How an engaged workforce can help reduce the risks of ending up at tribunal

An engaged workforce could hold the key to a reduction of the number of claims going to tribunal, particularly in times of economic uncertainty, according to CIPD vice-president and Employee Engagement taskforce deputy chair Nita Clarke.

'Employee engagement' is defined in the 2009 Government report Engaging for Success as "a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation's goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and enhance their own sense of well-being."

Engaged employees understand how what they do contributes to their organisation and why it is important to do their job well - they see the benefits of innovation and feel valued in their contribution to the success of the business. Better engagement of employees is increasingly being seen as essential to strengthening a business and improving productivity in the workplace, particularly in today's uncertain economic landscape.

Speaking in People Management, Nita Clarke stresses the importance of employee engagement as well as legislative change in reducing the number of cases which go to employment tribunal. She feels that old-school 'command and control' styles of management have become outdated for today's modern workforce, which prefers a more collaborative and consultative approach to management and more open communication. Citing good employee engagement as the main reason why many organisations managed to pull through the recession of 2008, Clarke urges companies to 'listen to as well as communicate' with their staff - or risk missing 'vital opportunities' to address issues in the workplace and seeing tribunal claims rise.

Acas provides practicaltraining coursesto equip managers, supervisors and HR professionals with the necessary skills to build trust in management and engage employees.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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