Thursday Brunch: what did we learn?

As a great man once said, ‘I have a dream’.

I had a dream too. It was to be on Sunday Brunch.

So, when we were brainstorming with Masgroves about how to make our events more engaging I said: “Have you ever watched Sunday Brunch? I really like how they interview people” and that was it…Thursday Brunch was born!

During 2019 we have run 3 Thursday Brunch events, gaining more interest and traction every time!

November’s event was by far the best yet, with over 60 attendees, a line-up of fantastic speakers and our hosts – Stuart and Tony from Masgroves – really knocked it out of the park!

This Thursday Brunch, we gathered together to discuss ‘What leaders want, an alternative look at employee engagement’.

What did we learn you ask?

Don’t get too intellectual about it!

We can get too intellectual about engagement at times – particularly when it comes to company purpose.

You cannot just create purpose and expect people to care about it. It’s about helping people understand what’s important to them and then find some alignment to that.

If you work on a production line and do the same process 20 times a day, do you care about purpose or do you just want to get your job done?

Some people want to come into work, work hard and go home and there’s nothing wrong with that! Shoving engagement down someone’s throat isn’t going to make them engaged.


Keep it simple

The employer/employee deal has skewed. A lot of it is being driven by what we see on LinkedIn that other people are doing, rather than what the business and employees need and want.

Not asking what people want is a huge mistake. Doing initiatives that you think people will like rather than what they actually want is a risk. By doing things people haven’t asked for, it can disengage on a number of levels.

Every business is individual – dogs at work and beer fridges are great, but that doesn’t mean that is what your people want. Keep an eye on the basics and go with your gut on what will work.

For example – your IT hardware is hugely out of date. Are people more likely to leave your business because you don’t have a beer fridge, or because you haven’t invested in a decent enough laptop and operating system for them to do their job effectively?


Create psychological safety

Create an environment where people feel comfortable saying things that are unpopular and challenge the status quo. Creating an open environment where people can say what they mean is key, as is creating space and time to have those conversations. Tell stories about people challenging things within the business – put them on a pedestal. We need diversity of thought – the conversation may not lead anywhere, but let’s celebrate the fact the conversation was had.

So, what are your thoughts? What are you doing in your organisation to truly engage people and have meaningful initiatives to add value?

You will all be excited to know that we have our entire Thursday Brunch itinerary planned out for 2020, including the new ‘The Big Brunch’.

You can see the whole agenda for 2020 here.

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You can view more about Kate Wass our HR Shared Services specialist here.