According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workforce survey, thousands of UK firms are leaving their share of £50billion unclaimed and untouched. What £50billion, and where does it come from?
We call it the ‘Employee Engagement Dividend.’ Gallup highlight how the most engaged workplaces differ from the rest of the pack:
- 41% less absenteeism
- 24% less turnover
- 21% greater profitability
- 17% greater productivity
The Employee Engagement Dividend
Highly engaged staff do ‘more’ – they give a better service, make less mistakes, and so on. You’ve heard all of this before, right? But the question we often hear companies ask is: “How do I get started?”
Here are 5 ways to get you going. Don’t be fooled, think these won’t resolve your engagement ills overnight but they are a step… or should that be five steps… in the right direction.
Step 1. Have A Plan.
Obvious, you might think? Yet only half of organisations do meaning their internal communication activities will be more reactive and tactical, than planned and strategic. (source)
We helped turn around years of engagement decline with one client – with a plan. From -3% year-after-year to +9% within twelve months. And +8% the year after. Research says a 1% increase in engagement is worth an additional 0.6% growth in sales. (source)
Importantly, a plan doesn’t have to be complex, run to dozens of pages or be time consuming to create. The plan that turned our client’s engagement scores around was drafted on one-side of paper – or as we call it, our ‘sexy spreadsheet.’ ‘Spreadsheet because we create it in Excel. ‘Sexy’ because what else do you call something that helps to transform employee engagement scores?
2. Train Your Leaders.
By ‘training’ leaders to be more emotionally intelligent, for example, you can increase engagement by 26% (source.)
Having worked with hundreds of leaders, this is their guilty secret. People assume they know it all – but they don’t. And very few leaders have been shown how to communicate brilliantly. That’s where the internal communication team rides to the rescue!
Train your leaders to…
Do whatever it is you’re asking them to do. Want them to present to thousands? Train ‘um. To inspire? Give them the tools. To communicate one-to-one? Help them.
Weeks away from a major conference, a director we were helping revealed the entire Board had zero training in how to present. A couple of quick, intense training events – we call them Espresso Sessions – not only fitted in with their busy diaries but helped increase confidence in the leadership team by xx%.
3. Make Your Leaders Visible
How do you transform a global leader’s individual engagement score?
Faced with this challenge, we helped make him more visible. Films, a structured programme of telephone calls, and ‘add on’ activities every time he visited a location allowed him to interact more easily with his team – even though they were spread across six continents. It didn’t require much more of his time, and most of the activities piggy-backed on things he was already planning to do.
His personal engagement score sky rocketed by 30% in just 12 months. Put him in the top quartile of leaders globally. And #1 amongst his peer group. Better still, he was a more engaging and inspiring leader, which reaped benefits for his team and the wider business.
If he’d have sat in his office, issuing diktats, nothing would change. Employees genuinely want to know what’s going on. They want to see, hear from and speak to their leaders. And that is a critical role of internal communicators – to get leaders ‘out’ into the business but this doesn’t necessarily mean face to face.
4. Use your People to Recognise your People
When asked what could be done to improve engagement, 52% of employees said: “Give recognition (source). And the most valued recognition? Peer to peer. Compared to recognition from a manager, its 35% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results. (source)
And a successful peer-to-peer recognition scheme is super-easy to set up!
1. Link it to your Values and use the scheme to help bring them to life.
2. Keep bureaucracy to a minimum – think simple, fast and effective, as it needs to be really easy for employees to thank each other.
3. Don’t be over generous. People don’t want a process which allows them to thank a colleague for a good job well done – not a large cash bonus
4. Make it visual – give employees certificates, cards or something to display on their desk as this acts as a constant reminder.
5. Share stories – keep a regular slot on your intranet, in your company magazine or at your company briefing to share what people have been recognised for.
Does it work? 90% of firms with a values-based recognition programme say it improves their engagement score. (source)
5. Give Employees a Voice
The very best companies use employee feedback to help shape decisions. (source) Which is obvious really. If we don’t listen, employees will quite naturally feel ignored, irrelevant and insignificant.
“But we’re big…” “We’re global…” “We’re different…”
The good news it is not as tricky as you might think. Simply provide the structures to draw feedback from across your company – then share what you’ve learned, and what you plan to do differently as a result.
We worked with one client faced with a similar challenge. Which inspired us to create The Bimble,’ a semi-structured walkabout. The CEO went a-bimbling one day, fixed a long-standing frustration one employee had, and saved not only hours of wasted time but it saved them money too. We call this our 12×6 story – it is legendary.
A Bimble is super-easy to put in place as are many other activities we create for clients. Not all are free but every single one shows employees they have a voice, and they’re listened to.
Activities that pay Dividends!
Five ideas. Super simple to do. All helpful in taking a step towards claiming your share of the Employee Dividend.
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