Are you struggling to engage with your employees?
Mind the gap
The main issue facing business owners today is the lack of employee engagement, according to a recent report on global human capital trends by Deloitte. Not only has the subject risen to the top of the pile, outpacing last year’s ‘leadership gap’ winner, it’s gained an impressive eight percentage points along the way. And yet, despite this, more than half of respondents admitted their organisation wasn’t properly addressing – or even measuring – engagement in order to improve retention.
The survey is one of the largest of its kind and involved more than 3000 HR and business leaders across the world. While the number of respondents who considered engagement as ‘very important’ had almost doubled from last year’s figure of 26%, close to two-thirds agreed that they didn’t have the right programs in place to define and build the kind of culture that promotes and improves engagement.
It’s clear that companies with a positive business culture, deeply engaged employees, strong leaders and meaningful work are outperforming their peers and attracting the best talent – so why is engagement so low?
The power shift
For a start, the power dynamic has shifted in favour of the employee. People are more mobile, more willing and able to share their experiences of company culture via sites such as glassdoor and LinkedIn, and more motivated to find fresh opportunities in businesses that offer a better cultural fit. Employers also have to engage with staff in increasingly flexible ways and offer roles that are personally, professionally and financially rewarding.
It’s not a purely philanthropic endeavour. We know from experience that highly engaged companies not only have loyal staff, low attrition rates and happier customers, they often end up being more profitable, too.
Where to start?
Take a cursory look at the organisations regularly voted as ‘the best place to work’ and you’ll see innovative practices informed by responsive research into what makes employees happy that are helping to shape the company culture for the good of all.
Engagement’s not an easy thing to measure – certainly not by an old-fashioned once-a-year survey. But by using a new breed of real-time sentiment and feedback management tools, leaders can monitor engagement and introduce changes that will change organisational culture.
You’ll have to make engagement a priority – change must come from the top – and you’ll also need to be fully committed to helping employees make their work more meaningful through a program of coaching and performance management. The simplest thing you can do – and the most powerful – is to listen to your best talent. Their needs will signpost the changes that will shape your business culture.
If they want to remain competitive, organisations must look to build a confident culture, defined by engagement. Strong leadership will drive culture, which, in turn, will empower performance. It takes time to align processes, policies and systems with a new business culture, but it’s the key to sustainable growth and to increased profitability.
Information on our education seminars on Employee Engagement and Employee Share Ownership plans as well as a free guide on “How to Stop Great Employees from Leaving” is available from www.successionplus.com.au.