Employees are the heart and soul of an organization, thus it’s critical to pay attention to their needs. An engaged and committed employee culture drives business results. It encourages higher performance, results in lower turnover and offers competitive advantage. Even in a difficult economy, companies need to inspire and retain high performers. Engaged employees are 40 percent more productive, however 70 percent of today’s workforce is disengaged. Today business success is contingent upon the level of employee engagement.
What is an Engaged Employee? – An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, committed and enthusiastic about his or her work. It’s the extent to which employees put discretionary effort into their work. Involvement of hearts as well as minds. The ability to work as a team across disciplines and functions. The understanding and commitment to achieving company goals and business context. It also speaks to the level of trust in leadership, a belief that decisions are made in the best interests of the organization and its employees, and the level to which employees feel valued and appreciated. The more engaged, committed and inspired an employee is, the more impact on the bottom line.
Intersection of Personal Satisfaction and High Performance – Business value is derived in part at the intersection of financial performance and high employee engagement. Organizations measure success with financial targets such as increased sales, stock price or market ranking. The engaged employee is at the apex of where a sustainable level of personal satisfaction and high performance mutually benefit both parties to create maximum contribution to the organization. This is where the organization needs employees to give – and what employees want to do comes together, but this is only part of the story. Employees are typically on different paths than the business and from each other. They work to satisfy many diverse and unique personal goals such as professional growth, work-balance needs, recognition and compensation to name a few. These goals vary widely from individual to individual and group to group. It applies to all employees, at all levels and in all functions.
Complexity of Personality & Performance – There’s also a complex dynamic of personality mix affected by varying work factors such as the employee’s tenure on the job, achievement aspirations, job role changes, shared accountability, job level and managerial accountabilities. For example, high performers don’t guarantee business success, just as low contributors don’t necessarily mean poor performance. If not satisfied, A-type personalities can “jump” to competitors and low contributors could simply be in the wrong role. These are some of the factors that can impact the business / employee “partnership.”
Business Results – To stay competitive, employees need to be engaged and committed – willing and able to perform at a maximum level and give more. But high performance can’t be mandated or delegated. To be successful, organizations must tap the strengths and passions of each individual employee. Full employee engagement occurs when an employee’s personal values and unique definition of success at work intersects positively with the organization’s financial performance. Executives need to authenticate and lead; managers need to coach, align and recognize daily discretionary effort; and individual contributors need to understand where their passions lie and what they’re skill sets are, then perform and take control of his or her own destination. With a properly assessed internal brand and implemented employee communications program, effective employee engagement can and will improve over time as will company performance.