An engaged workforce refers to a team of employees who think and act in the best interest of the business. Employees who are fully “engaged” put their heart and soul in the business. They have a deeper relationship with the firm and would go the extra mile in effort and loyalty.
Your Business Depends on It
I think most (if not all) of us agree that the performance of any business, its profitability and reputation depend on employee engagement. Your employees are your biggest asset or your biggest liability. They could be the biggest risk to your business. So, you can’t take your eye off the ball. You can’t take your staff for granted.
As a leader or a manager of a business you play a crucial role in creating an environment that results in employee engagement. So, how will you do it? How will you ensure your staff are engaged and are vested in the success of your business?
Workforce Engagement Initiative
In my opinion, a key method of achieving this is by having a Workforce Engagement Initiative. This initiative must be treated as a project with a vision, a purpose, project plan, tasks, schedule and deliverables. You should lead and develop your staff through this initiative with the same passion that you lead and service clients through their projects.
The aim of this initiative should be to strengthen employee-leader relationship, and help the employees align themselves fully with the vision and mission of the business.
The senior management of an organisation must own and accept that they have the greatest influence on an employee’s level of engagement. So, the Workforce Engagement Initiative must be owned by the senior management.
Developing a Business Case
Whether you are the Managing Director or a Department Manager, you need to develop a business case for this initiative.
This business case should address the tangible impact of “disengaged staff” or “semi-engaged” workforce on your clients. I think we all agree that “engaged” staff definitely foster client satisfaction.
The business case must also address the fact that lack of workforce engagement leads to voluntary staff turnover, which is so harmful to your business on so many fronts. It sends a negative message to your clients and impedes the bonding and relationship building that your Clients expect. It leads to inefficiencies and loss of project and business knowledge. They may even result in a lower quality of work, which in turn results in costly claims.
The business case must also address high cost of staff turnover. It impacts the morale of other employees. Loss of morale results in lack of focus, increase in mistakes and hence smaller bottom line. Not to mention that it costs you a lot of money and time to recruit, train and mentor the new staff to reach the skill level of the employee that left. This s a cost that can be estimated/quantified.
The comments that I made above are all proven by studies conducted on hundreds of thousands of employees who were either fully engaged or were low in engagement. The results are clear. There is a significant negative impact on the 12-month operating income. Some studies put this at 50%. This is massive and worthy of scrutiny by all business owners who have a workforce. The message is clear, employee engagement can result in lower turnover of staff, higher income, higher work efficiency, higher client satisfaction and more innovation at work.
Employee Engagement Survey
As part of developing this business case you should do an “employee engagement” survey. Then you should use the survey results to evaluate the level of satisfaction and measure employee engagement.
Employee Engagement Initiative
Once the results of the survey are known, you should develop and launch a holistic, custom-made and balanced initiative that addresses all aspects of this issue.
In short, this initiative should focus on what is most important.