How engaged are employees in the workplace today? A recent Gallup study found that “currently, 13% of employees across 142 countries worldwide are engaged in their jobs — that is, they are emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organizations every day.”
The study goes on to state that of the remainder, 63% are not engaged and 24% are actively disengaged. The way that business is conducted today is just not working.
It is clear from the Gallup survey that employee engagement is strongly correlated with business outcomes such as customer growth, profitability, and overall productivity. For example, organizations in Gallup’s Q12 Client Database with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010–2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition. So there is clear evidence that employee engagement goes right to the bottom line.
In order to establish mutually beneficial relationships with customers — and to establish market leadership — companies must first win the hearts and minds of their employees. If companies can increase their level of employee engagement, then the opportunity for success and continued commercial prosperity will surely follow.
This is a significant challenge that requires a great deal of change management. The answer is not just hiring great managers and reallocating the skills and talents of every employee; it is more closely tied to the organization’s core purpose, company values, social commitment, leadership principles, and overall culture. Ultimately it is about connection, how employees connect to both their colleagues as well as the organization.
Historically too much emphasis has been placed on productivity alone and not enough on creating an environment and encouraging a set of behaviors that help unlock employee talent, innovation, and creativity. This requires leaders to do things differently. Here are the four key fundamentals to address:
- Make sure that you have a distinct core purpose that is understood by all employees.
- Develop and implement a social purpose (as long as it is authentic!).
- Bring the company’s core values to life and embed them in everyday work processes.
- Regularly assess how well-aligned the team is to the overall goals of the organization.
- Share progress in real-time with all employees using balanced scorecards and dashboards.
- Implement a fun and well-structured induction program for new hires.
- Move away from a command and control management style and give individuals responsibility for outcomes rather than undertaking specific activities.
- Give individuals the responsibility to make immediate decisions that impact customer experience.
- Remove the burdensome controls and processes that delay decision-making and execution. Move to a rapid response mentality.
- Breakdown any silos so the intellectual property of individual team members is available wherever it can benefit the organization. Improve knowledge flow.
- Focus on promoting cooperation and talent amplification by understanding the skills and expertise of team members and connecting them with colleagues and projects where they can contribute the most.
- Provide every employee with the opportunity to spend work time on creative and innovative ideas.
- Recognize and reward individuals and teams that exceed expectations.
- Encourage more spontaneous meetings and remove the latency associated with waiting for responses or planned meetings.
- Move to a collaboration culture where time waste is minimized and effort is focused on value-add activities.
- Reduce email traffic by using other communication tools that are real-time and where it is easier to link information to specific topics.
- Reduce time spent on update meetings and find ways to share this information more efficiently outside of formal meetings.
- Reduce length of meetings.
- Allow team members more flexibility in their own time management. This builds trust and enables an employee to use time more efficiently for both the benefit of the individual and the organization.
Connection is the glue that brings employees together and creates a sense of true belonging. Whether your team is co-located or distributed across cities and continents, Sococo can build team connection and boost employee engagement. Break down barriers between your employees and build a company culture of synchronous communication and open collaboration. Bring your team to work in Sococo.