Productivity for any company is critical and how engaged your staff are has a direct correlation to bottom line profitability.
Research shows that on average staff are only 70% effective and only 31% of employees are engaged. We refer to engagement as people who are actively motivated to support the company and are proactive in their jobs. It is important to understand that you cannot just focus on one of these statistics when driving bottom line profitability.
The trigger that motivates and engages people is unique to every employee but can be generally grouped into their personality type. A good leader will understand their goals, desires and aspirations in their personal and business life.
So what are some of the issues we should be looking at?
Are an organisation’s hiring managers, head-hunters and HR representatives hiring the right people? Of course, this is essential.
The minimum standards that employees should expect are the correct pay and working conditions, and job security. This is not the end goal but the starting position.
The fear of losing your job generally has a negative effect on staff motivation.
Money tends to initially spike interest but fades quickly and becomes less important. People have an expectation on what the market will pay for different positions and as an employer these expectations should be meet.
One of the key issues is that people will perform better if they are given a sense of self-worth while performing their job.
Trustworthy leadership is critical as staff need to believe that as a leader you will have their back and do this with integrity. The day of do as I say not as I do are over as this just demotivates people.
It’s the leader’s role to engage people in the vision of the outcome, make them embrace new growth strategies and ask them to help build the steps required to get there. This way they feel they have ownership and will drive the steps.
I advocate in creating a fun environment that works on praise and a philosophy of the glass is half full.
People need to feel that they are part of a winning team so give recognition, small gifts, a regular group lunch and birthday cake, for example.
There are many different ways to achieve a winning outcome when staff are effective and engaged. Focus on the end game and support staff in achieving it their way.
So if you want to have staff that walk across hot coals for you then it starts with you valuing them as an asset, wanting the best for them, engaging them, supporting their weaknesses and highlighting their strengths.
Mini case study by Frank Colli
Many years ago we purchased a company that had around 80 staff but it had a reputation of having a revolving door approach to staff. People rarely started before the 8.30am start time and would leave the office for lunch and never stay beyond 5.00pm. The environment was extremely demotivating.
We were given many warnings that there was no way to change the culture in this company. But 12 months later we had grown our staff numbers and became the employer of choice for many of our employees. Steps we took included: opening an internal gym; creating an amazing lunch room with a billiard table, Xbox and PlayStation; supplying a free lunch once a week; and installing one of the best coffee machines available.
As the new owners, we also refitted all the workstations, carpets and boardroom. Basically our approach was that our staff were the best and deserved the best. Thus, we created an environment around them that represented what we felt about them.
The results we achieved spoke for themselves. The staff revolving door stopped and you could find people in the office from 6.30am until 8.00pm. The lunch room became a place to be seen and enjoyed with even a large number of suppliers and customers wanting to drop in there for a coffee or an after-work drink.
As a numbers person, it’s worth sharing these with you. Our sales growth that year was 21% and our gross profit increased by 1%. We did this with a small increase in staff numbers, an increase investment and a real focus on the company culture. The initial investment was about $500,000 and an additional ongoing cost of $180,000. Conservatively we got one extra hour a day of productive time from each person, which related to annual savings in salary costs and ongoings of over $1 million. On top of this is the increase in customer satisfaction we achieved.
This basic principle can be applied to any size company. All it took was to believe in our staff and do it with integrity.
Call eccoConsultants if you want to take this further or just need a little help. We will show you in a very short time the value we can bring to you and your business.