Image credit: e-arogya.com
I had a client ask me this recently and then a couple of days later, I read Gallup’s data showing that only 13% of people worldwide are actually engaged at work! This got me thinking, a lot of organisations must be taking the view that ‘as long as we’re profitable, does it matter if our staff are disengaged?’
Firstly it is important to recognise that these are two totally different things. You can increase profitability in many different ways such as re-negotiating prices with suppliers, re-structuring and generally trimming the excess throughout the business. Maintaining profitability however, is almost impossible without a engaged workforce and your chances of increasing profits and sustaining these over time without your staff behind you, are slim to none. To get this mix right, the management team have to put as much energy into ensuring their people are engaged, as they do into drilling down into the company financials.
One great way is to go back to basics and talk to your team, all of them! Now, this may sound banal or cliched but it isn’t that simple or straightforward. It must be done in the right way and not come across as patronising. People must be able to speak openly without fear of punishment and allowing them to do this is the only way you will get real feedback.
Whilst in this dialogue, help them to fully understand why the organisation exists. Do they know why? In their minds the reason may simply be “to make the owners/ Directors rich!” Simon Sinek really explains this idea well in his TED talk start with why. Your team must understand and feel part of the bigger picture. If you can get everyone, and I mean everyone; including the least senior members and the junior recruit who started last week, pulling in the direction the company wants to go, because they understand where you’re going, what you’re trying to achieve and most importantly the part that they play in that, then you can look forward to long term sustained profits that will possibly be bigger that you’ve ever had.
Long term satisfaction for employees is more about being a valued member of a team, working to achieve something important, rather than how much money they’re paid (provided they’re being paid fairly). Employees don’t tend to leave organisations they tend to leave managers!