Managers crucial in fostering employee engagement

Managers crucial in fostering employee engagement

A group of young Scania professionals from around the world have studied how employee engagement is approached within the organisation, as well as in a wider context. The group, all participants in Scania’s Business Challenge, have presented their findings to Scania’s top management.

Scania can pride itself on having highly skilled employees. But are they really engaged in their work and in the company? That was one of the challenge topics in this year’s edition of Business Challenge, a Scania programme that involves young professionals from across the Scania world.

The aim of the Scania Business Challenge is to identify and work on new strategic challenges for Scania, while encouraging new talent to broaden their understanding of Scania and the company’s business. Participants are divided into interdisciplinary groups, each of which is issued with its own challenge. The results, which usually entail new approaches and a high level of creativity, are then presented to the Executive Board.

The group studied employee engagement not only at Scania but also spoke with managers in other companies, as well as in the world of sports.

High engagement leads to better productivity

Research and experience show that high engagement immediately leads to better productivity, sales, reduced absenteeism and greater safety at work. Decisive factors for engagement in an enterprise or organisation include a clear vision and defined objectives, which are embraced by its employees.

However, the group’s study shows that more than half of the surveyed Scania employees could not explain how they contribute to Scania’s vision of driving the shift to a sustainable transport system, which leads to the conclusion that Scania should focus more on employee engagement.

“Scania has a clear vision guiding its operations but there is a major gap in engaging in this vision,” says Camilo Guzman Santos, Sales Manager, Buses and Coaches. “We need to understand our role in contributing to something big and important.”

Managers have a crucial role

It is clear that managers have a crucial role in fostering engagement. Employees also expect greater and more frequent feedback from managers.

“The Employee Satisfaction Barometer is not sufficient, we need to measure engagement more often in order, to act on results,” explains Sara Hassan, SPS coordinator, Production and Logistics.

The Executive Board listened attentively to the recommendations and largely agreed. “You have pinpointed an area where there is room for improvement,” says President and CEO Henrik Henriksson. “We need to attract and retain people to a Scania culture based on engagement.”

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