“The client is always right”, “understand who your client is”, “treat the client like your own children” - these rules are often perceived by leaders as the main path to success. This is partly true: it is difficult to sell a product without understanding who could buy it. However, very often, leaders overlook the element that stands between them and potential customers - their employees.
Meanwhile, in many respects it depends on them whether your adored client will be happy, whether he will return to you again, and indeed how much your company will earn. In other words, you will not achieve significant success if your employees are not motivated to deliver the best results for the company every time. And this, unfortunately, rarely happens.
From motivation to engagement
This is not to say that managers these days do not pay attention to the motivation of their employees - quite the opposite. However, the main problem is that, as such, motivation has a very short-term effect. “For the employer, the overall involvement of the employee is much more important,” Anna Krasnyak, HR Director for Procter & Gamble in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, comments for us. - We are observing a clear tendency: people move away from common values, their needs are formed differently. Motivation affects exclusively the emotional area, determines whether we like working in a particular company. This is clearly not enough. It is the involvement of employees, in addition to pleasure, that reflects the cognitive layer, i.e. does the employee associate himself with the company in which he works,and his willingness to put additional efforts to achieve better results for the good of the organization."
Perhaps nothing can reveal an employee better than increasing his involvement in the affairs of the company, because only in this case he will consider your business as his own - and, as a result, try his best to ensure that it continues to flourish. And this is just - a great rarity. Yes, your employee may be motivated enough to work harder to get a raise or, say, a bonus. But will he really want to work more than he should, or at least just at full strength in order to increase, in fact, your profits?
This is a big question. Thus, according to the Gallup Institute, only 32% of American workers truly worry about the company's success and feel like valuable workers. According to Officevibe, which measures employee engagement in real time and based on surveys of people from 150 countries around the world, more than 60% believe that their work in the organization is underestimated, and more than 30% believe that the company's values do not coincide with their personal ideas.
The price of indifference
What does all this mean in practice? A whole layer of real problems. "The consequences can be very serious both for the emotional and physical state of the employee himself, and for the organization as a whole - this is absenteeism, the Italian strike, a decline in business performance, high costs for getting results, leaving valuable employees, etc." Anna Krasnyak warns. In other words:
The company is losing productivity
No, of course, your employees can strictly follow their job descriptions - however, this approach will clearly not contribute to the evolution of the organization. The employees involved work with a reasonable amount of enthusiasm, and if there are none in your organization, then, according to the estimates of the same Gallup, the company's productivity decreases by 22%.
You are losing money
And this is due to virtually every aspect of low employee engagement, from the reduced productivity described above to the costs associated with increased employee turnover. The latter, for example, can cost you 2.5 times the employee's salary. Other than that, less obvious factors come into play. Thus, it is noted that undervalued workers are more likely to get sick - or simply find reasons not to come to work. Indeed, in their office, according to their own ideas, nothing good awaits them.
The company's reputation declines
Uninvolved workers are unhappy workers. More than 20% of employees leave work depressed and tired every day, according to Officevibe. Research by Temkin Group shows that the quality of customer service directly depends on the extent to which employees themselves are interested in the success of the company. If there is no such interest, then no interest will arise from your clients. This is exactly the situation that former Burberry CEO Angela Arends faced when she first came to the fashion house. The brand's employees were so disconnected from their place of work that they even refused to buy Burberry items at a very discounted price. “If our best people didn’t buy our products even at a good discount, then how could we expect any of our customers to pay full price for them?” - she reflected many years later (read:Angela Arends: How Burberry became Apple's Senior Vice President).
What to do
“If we talk about the reasons, it happens that an employee at some point realizes that the company is not his place. His beliefs, life values do not correspond to the goals, mission of the organization, principles of doing business, and the content of his work does not allow development,”says the expert. So, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, about 90% of employees decide whether they will stay in a new place or not during the first six months of work. But what if someone who has been working with you for a long time has lost interest in his business? This can be the first sign that your organization is not focusing enough on employee engagement. And that means it's time to take the next preventive steps.
Assess the employee's condition in advance
“It is a daily task for a manager to clearly and timely notice a decrease in employee motivation and engagement. In turn, the HR specialist must teach the manager to identify the first warning signs and work with them. Signs of "burnout" can be a decrease in work efficiency, and a regularly bad mood, notes of cynicism in speech and behavior, apathy, health problems, etc. ", - says Anna Krasnyak.
Build close communication
Officevibe estimates that about a third of employees would like their manager to get in touch with them more often. Lack of effective communication is often the reason for low productivity - because often employees cannot always understand what exactly is expected of them, and it is simply impossible to clarify. In addition, regular meetings with management give employees a clearer understanding of the company's values, priorities and goals.
Focus on the employee's strengths
Another increasingly popular strategy is to assign tasks to an employee, not based on their job responsibilities, but based on their strengths and personal interests. As you know, work to your liking and work is not always considered, which means that your employee will show the best results if you allow him to be realized where he really wants.
An employee's involvement in the work process is impossible without a sense of their own value and significance. If the employee sees that his work is appreciated and that they are satisfied, he will respond with even greater zeal. It would not be superfluous to designate a certain set of advantages for the employee that the company is ready to provide him for a good job: for example, the opportunity to work from home or shift the schedule by an hour or two.
Give them more empowerment (and room for growth)
“From my experience, the best influence on motivation and engagement is the events that are offered and organized by the employees themselves,” says Anna Krasnyak. “They should not be exclusively entertaining, but should help personal and professional development, reflect the importance of daily work. HR professionals must move from creating policies, procedures and event design to empowering employees to implement initiatives themselves”(see also:“How to properly solve the problems of their subordinates (and whether it should be done)”).
Unfortunately or fortunately, a good salary and a convenient schedule cannot always help to keep a good employee in his place. One Gallup poll shows, for example, that the vast majority of millennials (87%), when looking for a job, pay special attention to opportunities for personal and professional growth (among non-millennials, the percentage is slightly less - 69%). Thus, an important task for the manager is to eliminate the element of stagnation in the work of his employees. This can be an expansion of job descriptions, an increase or the provision of additional training opportunities at the expense of the company.
Photo: Getty Images
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