Engaged Workforce Increases Profitability
By Pat Heydlauff
A groundswell is
building when it comes to acknowledging that the engaged workforce
is one of the keys to success in the 21st Century.
Research is everywhere connecting the dots of engagement,
productivity and profitability.
engagement has emerged as a critical driver of business success in
today’s competitive marketplace. Further, employee engagement can be
a deciding factor in an organization's success. Engaged employees
work harder, are more loyal and are more likely to go the ‘extra
mile’ for the corporation," according to research done by Nancy R.
Lockwood, Manager, HR Content Program, Society for Human Resource
for Business Innovation & Skills says, “Effective employee
engagement equals business success. It is a very practical way of
strengthening your business’ productivity, innovation, attendance
rate and voluntary turnover.” Their research additionally showed
that engaged employees generate 43% more revenue than disengaged
The truth is,
employees are always engaged in doing something; the question is –
in doing what? Gallup's research shows that one-third of the
workforce is engaged in working, almost a majority of 49% is not
engaged and 18% are disengaged. So if only 33% of your workforce is
engaged in meeting your goals and expectations, are the remaining
67% actively engaged against you or at minimum, in something else?
The 49% or your
unengaged workforce is also engaged but in distracted engagement.
They could be engaged some of the time in work and at other times in
worrying about a family issue, their latest text message, social
media postings, their "bad hair day" or a bothersome co-worker.
However, their engagement is definitely not focused on your job at
hand. And, what about the disengaged. They too are engaged on
something. Is what they are focusing on sabotaging your productivity
problem facing leadership and management today is not just an
engaged workforce but a focused engaged workforce. An engaged
workforce does not necessarily mean they are focused on the results
Re-defining the Workplace
The "flow of
focus" is a major component of the engagement discussion. It is not
just about workforce engagement but rather it's about focusing their
engagement. Focus has a flow, which needs to be unleashed, harnessed
and controlled in a way that is beneficial to both the company and
the workforce. The "flow of focus" is about creating workplace
environments that foster an engaged focused workforce.
organization's vision and goals are not a "C" Suite exclusive. While
most employees are usually informed about a company vision they
usually have little or no say in creating it and often do not
understand it. It is typically poorly communicated and rarely shows
a crucial link between the vision and their job. Those who do not
understand how their daily work expectations fit into the corporate
vision are generally not engaged, not involved or do not care if
they contribute to the desired result much less exceed expectations.
workforce should participate at all levels in not only the
preparation of the company vision but in the process of
communicating it throughout the organization as well as executing
the steps necessary to successfully accomplish the vision. When they
are directly engaged in the process, they stop "just going through
the motions" and get involved in creating the outcome.
Encouragement comes in many forms and from many levels throughout an
organization. A kind word of encouragement can make a difficult job
easier, an impossible feat accomplishable and a monotonous
repetitive job important. Encouragement is an action word, not a
passive word. It means "get up out of your chair and go talk to your
team members" or call them with positive feedback, not just drop
them a quick email. A publically recognized good job well done will
overcome long hours, less pay and monotony.
Another form of
extremely effective encouragement is to reach out to employees to
obtain your their opinions, viewpoints, insights, ideas and
feedback. They are encouraged because they feel like they are part
of the team and that leadership and management care about them
enough to ask their opinion, not just make what seems like arbitrary
Employees that are involved in the organization's vision and in
creating its future need to have their voices heard. They are always
involved in something so it is important to keep them involved in
the company vision and goals throughout the day making them more
efficient and focused. The more personal interaction you have with
your workforce the more involved and engaged they become.
One of the best
ways to have an involved focused workforce is to have management
actually spend 80% of their time with the workforce. When management
spends time in direct contact with the workforce, engagement,
encouragement and involvement levels all increase and a large
percentage of the unengaged 49% also becomes engaged and focused on
what you want to accomplish.
workforce is fully engaged, encouraged and involved in the
objectives and goals of the organization, and the organization is
engaged and involved in the needs of the workforce, a "flow of
focus" is created which results in improved productivity and
profitability. When an employee is given an opportunity to
participate, they feel empowered and respected or "liked" as in
Social Media vernacular.
The benefits of
building a workplace environment where your workforce is not only
engaged but focused on what you want are enormous. By harnessing the
"flow of focus" in the engaged 33% of your workforce and then
building a fertile environment to engage another 80% of that
unengaged 49%, you dramatically improve your productivity while
significantly increasing your profitability.
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