More Engaged People = More Efficient Performance = Better Financial Results
“Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield. The time you spend with your best is, quite simply, your most productive time.”
― Marcus Buckingham, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
People are the great multiplier. When they are happy and more engaged in their work, they will perform better, and when they perform better that effects your bottom-line. Gallup performed a meta-analysis to test employee engagement and found that work units in the top quartile of employee engagement outperformed bottom quartile units by 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity. This research also showed that companies with 9.3 engaged employees for every disengaged employee were outperforming their competitors by 147% higher earnings per share. Many “business gurus” have been making this case for a long time, and have been publishing countless books, articles, and essays on the subject. The challenge is weeding through the chaos to find the right formula for your business. Thanks to Gallup, it is now scientifically proven that employee engagement significantly moves the performance needle. The act of engaging employees, however, is an art that takes time.
What Employees Need from Their Managers
“Mediocrity results first and foremost from management failure, not technological failure.” ― James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
For people to feel engaged at work they need their direct supervisors to pay attention to and exploit their strengths. They need clarity about expectations and feedback about their performance. They need to feel like others care about them. When they do a good job, they need to feel like that has been noticed and that their hard work is appreciated. They need to feel like they are growing and developing professionally as well as personally. Focusing on these areas requires a manager who pays attention to and cares about the performance of their team as well as the company as a whole. It takes great managers to develop a culture of engagement and it takes great leaders to see the importance of developing great managers.
What Engaged Employees Need from Their Leaders
“Unless many individuals line up and move together in the same direction, people will tend to fall all over one another.” — John P. Kotter, “What Leaders Really Do” HBR’s 10 Must Reads; On Leadership
A leader’s role in creating a culture of engagement centers around alignment. By clearly communicating the direction of the organization to everyone down to the janitor, the employees then become empowered to make decisions that protect the organization’s vision. They also get the opportunity to choose whether or not their personal values align with that vision. When people get to make an informed choice, they are far more likely to be engaged. Great leaders set the tone and provide the tools that help great managers keep their people engaged. Without support and alignment from the top of the organization, great managers cannot do their job, get frustrated and leave in search of a more supportive environment for themselves and their people.
To build a great company in today’s environment you must find and retain the best people. Focus on setting a culture of alignment around the vision, reward those that support that vision and give your managers the tools they need to keep their people engaged. Without it, you could be putting 22% less back in your business to fuel growth than your competition.
Enjoy the Journey!