Somebody once said that an actively disengaged employee is similar to a well-trained and motivated terrorist, able to destroy your entire organisation. Contrary to this, the fully engaged employee has been proven to be infinitely more productive and value adding than those employees seen as “only just engaged”. The fully engaged employee is the one that ensures excellent customer service resulting in return business and consequently enhanced and sustained business growth and profitability. The question we therefore need an answer to, is; how on earth do I ensure that my employees are engaged and adding the value I can reasonably expect of them and what does this have to do with values?
The level of employee engagement in your business is directly linked to the existing climate (how we feel to work here). Climate can be measured very precisely or you can follow your gut – which at most is quite inaccurate. Climate in turn is a direct outflow of the culture (the way we do things here) of your business. The logical question now is; if this is our culture which is creating the climate we have, what is causing the prevailing culture? The answer to that would be the values you have in your organisation. As the enactment of these values manifest in behaviour and the collective behaviour of the organisation’s employees, with emphasis on senior leaders, who cause the organisation’s culture, which creates the climate.
So what are the values of your business and what is the intended meaning of each value and how does the enactment of these values in your organisation relate to how your employees are engaged? Does your current business performance perhaps beg an understanding of the answer to this question? The Engagement-Profit chain explanation below, provides some answers.
Employee engagement can further be described as the emotional commitment an employee has to the organisation and its goals, resulting in the use of discretionary effort. An employee’s discretionary effort results in the Engagement-Profit chain. Because they care more, they are more productive, give better service, and even stay in their jobs longer. All of that leads to happier customers, who buy more and refer more often, which drives sales and profits higher, finally resulting in an increase in stock price. See the illustration below from employee-engagement-2-0-performance-Real-World as to how employee engagement has a direct impact on the bottom-line.
Kevin Kruse (2012), indicates that twenty eight (28) research studies show that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and:
- Profit and
- Total Shareholder Returns.
Are the values of your business and the living of these values then not the foundation to sustainable bottomline results?
“Someone once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities; integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. Think about it; it’s true. If you hire someone without [integrity], you really want them to be dump and lazy.” Warren Buffet
Dennis Farrell (Dr) a director and the CEO of Alfa & Omega NBS has held various senior positions in the financial services industry, has received accolades for his leadership and wider business contributions as well as honourable mention by the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (SSON) in and international event for his approach, leadership and management of Shared Services Centres (Business Proficiency). Dennis has in-depth experience in managing shared services centres in the financial industry, covering the end-to-end HR service offering. He is part time lecturer at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Business School George Campus on HR and related business practices and is registered with the South African Board of People Practices (SABPP) as a Master Human Resources Professional: Generalist. Contact: www.alfaomega.co.za or firstname.lastname@example.org
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