“How am I doing?” Those of you living in New York City might remember when Mayor Koch used to ask his constituents that question. Asking that question with your business is very powerful because tells your employees and your customers that they matter.
That they matter is an understatement. First of all, exceeding your customer’s expectations is essential to creating loyal customers and increasing your customer base. In order to have loyal customers you need to have engaged and loyal employees and you need to know things are working.
You want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” This well-known line was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the move, A Few Good Men. Do you think there might be some truth in that statement? That appears to be the case in many organizations. It is just not comfortable to ask too many questions.
It is easier for companies with retention problems, for example, to focus on compensation issues. But, according to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at work. That means that 70% are not engaged in their jobs at your company.
But it is more than that. Lack of engagement can cause lack of alignment of everyone with the company’s vision, values, and mission. For example, if asked, from your perspective what are three company goals, how many could answer? Or, what action would you take if your employees were to give a negative answer to the statement, “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?”
How do we fix this? We can’t fix it by taking a cookie cutter approach. Instead we must listen and ask, “How are we doing?” Then we must act remembering that the diversity of our workforce which includes gender, culture and the different generations, does have a simple solution.
Then with regard to customers it is easier to think all is well because there are not a growing number of customer complaints. Not so. What about those who never come back? We must actively reach out continuously and sample their opinion.
Is your organization suffering from a retention challenge? This can be costly. When you consider recruiting and training, lost customer service, lost productivity, and lost morale in others who are left, the cost is at least two times the employee’s salary. An engaged employee becomes more valuable as he or she grows. In addition, high-performing companies have loyal customers because they have loyal employees.
If you are the CEO or the head of Human Resources, you need to have an engagement strategy. This should be a line item on your P&L. The strategy should include careful selection to see that an employee is matched to a job where he or she has a chance to excel, an assessment plan to identify key employee strengths, and a development plan to leverage those employee strengths.
Is it time to have a strategic employee assessment and development plan in place?
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