Jack Welch once said, “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.”
In my opinion, there are two reasons why Jack Welch, one of the world’s most respected and celebrated CEOs, lists employee engagement as his first indicator of strong organizational performance:
High levels of engagement result in strong productivity – When work feels engaging to employees, they feel a connection with the company. They understand that the work they’re doing is important, regardless of their role, and therefore they are more willing to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the job.
Engaged employees are less likely to quit – If employees feel needed when they go into work each day, the connections they form with their work, the company, and their other coworkers build a sense of committment.
So How Are We Doing?
Even with a refocus on the employee experience, the overall problems of employee engagement and turnover continue to grow. Below are a few key statistics that illustrate this problem and why engagement and turnover remain top priorities for most executive teams.
- 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged – Gallop
- Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually – The Engagement Institute
- A 10% increase in base pay increases the odds an employee will stay at the company by 1.5% – Glassdoor
- 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable – HR Dive
Engagement has become a key focus area for organizations around the world, and the growth in the industry has never been stronger. Yet somehow the numbers aren’t budging. How can that be the case?
Engagement Tends to Look at the Effect but Not the Cause
The ideal scenario for most organizations is to get as many engaged employees as possible. Unfortunately, many organizations focus solely on producing engagement, and forget to take a step back to understand what causes engagement. Moreover, they neglect the impact that engaged employees are having on the organization. This means that engagement just boils down to a number, which is useless without context.
It Comes Down To Connection, Contribution, and Trust
If you want engaged employees you must create connections:
- Employees understand the connection between their work and the organization’s strategies and goals.
- Managers clearly articulates the organizations goals through internal communication and objective setting.
Your employees must understand how their job contributes to the success of their team, business unit, and company. In short, there is a clear line of sight between Effort, Performance, and Results.
Do your employees believe:
- The effort they put into their jobs on a daily basis will results in acceptable performance?
- The performance will produce results?
- The results are valuable to their leaders and the organization?
Finally, do your employees trust their leaders will:
- Set appropriate expectations/goals?
- Provide timely and relevant feedback?
- Provide the tools and resources to be successful?
By creating connections, contribution, and trust, you will build a workforce that shows commitment both rationally and emotionally. And what are the outputs of commitment? Employees that are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty and have the intent to stay.
If you’re interested in creating connections, contributions and trust within your workforce please contact SDI by clicking here.
If you’re interested in how a technology platform can support a modern performance management program, check out Expectancy Learning by clicking here.