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. This line hits a little too close to home for some organizations. While some organizations ask themselves what they can do to help their organizations align there are others that this it is always the wrong people and that they (the organizational leadership) know what is right. Would you get defensive if an outside consultant asked you questions to get to the root cause of your problems?
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.
Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary I could see that engagement is not static information but depends on company, employees, and time. We can’t use a cookie cutter approach. We can’t make universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to understand the diversity of our workforce which includes gender, culture and the different generations. Engagement factors have changed.
Or with regard to customers it is easier to think all is well because there are not a growing number of customer complaints.
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?” Of course, you would want to give them work that made use of their skills. Do you know how to do that? Meaningful work means different things to the different generations in the workplace. Consider not only generational differences but also cultural differences. Get to know your employees and what is important to them. A baby boomer’s wants and needs are different from Generation X and Generation Y is different from the other two generations. For more information on generation read a previous blog. The engagement solution does not involve pushing a round peg fit into a square hole but rather to match each employee to a position where he or she can be the best.
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 assessment of your organizational alignment and then put an employee assessment and development plan in place?
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