By Pete Tosh, Founder of The Focus Group

Because several GEA members have had success using our Employee Engagement Survey, we wanted to offer greater insight into the subject through a four-part series of articles

Part One: The Irony of Employee Engagement- Five Facts Every Manager Needs to Know

We have yet to meet a manager who did not agree that engaged employees are essential to achieving enhanced productivity, quality, customer satisfaction & profits. But the irony is that only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged. This irony may be due to some managers not being aware of five facts:

  1. Over 100 employee engagement research projects have been conducted with the economic benefits of having engaged employees have been well substantiated.
  2. Many of the most well-managed service & manufacturing companiesRitz-Carlton, Chick-fil-A, Baptist Health System & Caterpillar – are benefitting from enhanced employee engagement; it is very doable.
  3. Employee engagement is necessary for strategy execution. Every company expends significant resources developing business plans but those plans require engaged employees who want to implement them.
  4. Employees’ engagement needs are reasonable. The employee engagement needs most closely correlated with positive economic outcomes are as straightforward as employees:
    – having a clear understanding of what is expected of them
    – periodically receiving recognition & praise when they have done a good job
    – feeling that their manager wants to help them be successful in their jobs
  5. Supervisors & managers are the key to engaged employees & improved organizational performance. The factor that has the greatest impact on an employee’s degree of engagement is the employee’s relationship with his/her immediate manager. And with a little training any manager – who is willing – can learn to apply practical engagement coaching techniques.

Part Two: Employee Engagement & Commitment = Productivity & Profits

Your management team is tasked with optimizing the performance of your lean workforce – achieving more productivity and profit from fewer employees.

Gallup has found that employees who responded positively to engagement questions worked in business units with:

  • 22% higher profitable
  • 22% higher productivity
  • 10% higher customer satisfaction
  • 51% less employee turnover
  • 48% fewer accidents
  • 41% fewer quality defects
  • 37% less absenteeism


The GEA is helping its members implement the following approaches to enhance their levels of employee engagement, productivity & profitability:

  • Surveying employees to determine their current state of engagement and segmenting the feedback by manager
  • Providing managers with the feedback from their teams and personalized development plans
  • Training managers in the techniques used by the most effective managers
  • Helping managers implement their development plans and thus continually improve the engagement of their teams

Any organization not proactively addressing employee engagement is ‘leaving a lot of money on the table’ – and who can afford that?

Part Three: Supervisors with Dead Batteries Aren’t Able to Jumpstart Anyone

If your CEO were told that your company’s best customer was considering doing business with a competitor, he/she would undoubtedly react in short order. If your employees are a significant asset, shouldn’t the engagement of that asset also be a priority?

Creating a culture of employee engagement involves a three-level approach:

  • Level 1: Your leadership team defining your organization’s engagement strategy & igniting its execution. Managers with highly engaged leaders are nearly 40% more engaged.
  • Level 2: Employee engagement is the energy behind employee performance – with supervisors and managers serving as the catalysts. Every interaction a supervisor has with an employee is an opportunity to engage and stimulate discretionary effort. Employees feeling valued and appreciated by their immediate supervisors is the primary determinant of engagement. But supervisors with dead batteries aren’t able to jumpstart anyone.
  • Level 3: It’s difficult for leaders to objectively know how front-line employees view their relationships with their supervisors. Employee engagement surveys conducted with employees’ responses segmented by supervisor provide leaders with very actionable information.

Part Four:  A Leader Who Faced the Music Even though He Didn’t Like the Tune

Under Doug Conant, the former President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, the company reversed its decline in market value, improved its financial position & enhanced its relationship with its customers. When asked how, Conant emphasized that engaging the workforce was an integral part of his strategy. He knew from experience that employee  engagement would work and that he had to lead the charge from the top.

Today Campbell Soup:

  • Annually measures employee engagement corporate-wide
  • Trains its managers by providing practical techniques they can use to improve employee engagement
  • Holds managers accountable for improving their team’s level of engagement by tying managers’ merits,bonuses and promotions to those scores

Research has proven – and common sense tells us – that dissatisfied employees are less productive, care less about quality and increase the cost of doing business. Measuring employee engagement is analogous to going to the doctor – we never want to hear bad news. But GEA has consistently found that it’s better for managers to know and be able to react – than to not know.

Please let the GEA know if you are interested in arranging an Employee Engagement Consultation – at no charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Employee Engagement & Commitment = Productivity & Profits

 

Your management team is tasked with optimizing the performance of your lean workforce – achieving more productivity & profit from fewer employees.

 

Gallup has found that employees who responded positively to engagement questions worked in business units with:

  • 22% higher profitable
  • 22% higher productivity
  • 10% higher customer satisfaction
  • 51% less employee turnover
  • 48% fewer accidents
  • 41% fewer quality defects
  • 37% less absenteeism

 

The GEA is helping its members implement the following approaches to enhance their levels of employee engagement, productivity & profitability:

  • surveying employees to determine their current state of engagement & segmenting the feedback by manager
  • providing managers with the feedback from their teams & personalized, development plans
  • training managers in the techniques used by the most effective managers
  • helping managers implement their development plans & thus continually improve the engagement of their teams

Any organization not proactively addressing employee engagement is ‘leaving a lot of money on the table’ – and who can afford that?

 

Part Three: Supervisors with Dead Batteries Aren’t Able to Jumpstart Anyone

 

 If your CEO were told that your company’s best customer was considering doing business with a competitor, he/she would undoubtedly react in short order. If your employees are a significant asset, shouldn’t the engagement of that asset also be a priority?

 

Creating a culture of employee engagement involves a three-level approach:

  • Level 1 Your leadership team defining your organization’s engagement strategy & igniting its execution. Managers with highly engaged leaders are nearly 40% more engaged.
  • Level 2 Employee engagement is the energy behind employee performance – with supervisors & managers serving as the catalysts. Every interaction a supervisor has with an employee is an opportunity to engage & stimulate discretionary effort. Employees’ feeling valued & appreciated by their immediate supervisors is the primary determinant of engagement. But supervisors with dead batteries aren’t able to jumpstart anyone.
  • Level 3 It’s difficult for leaders to objectively know how front-line employees view their relationships with their supervisors. Employee engagement surveys conducted with employees’ responses segmented by supervisor provide leaders with very actionable information.

 

 

Part Four: A Leader Who Faced the Music Even though He Didn’t Like the Tune

Under Doug Conant, the former President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, the company reversed its decline in market value, improved its financial position & enhanced its relationship with its customers. When asked how, Conant emphasized that engaging the workforce was an integral part of his strategy. He knew from experience that employee  engagement would work and that he had to lead the charge from the top.Today Campbell Soup:

  • Annually measures employee engagement corporate-wide
  • Trains its managers by providing practical techniques they can use to improve employee engagement
  • Holds managers accountable for improving their team’s level of engagement by tying managers’ merits,bonuses and promotions to those scores

Research has proven – and common sense tells us – that dissatisfied employees are less productive, care less about quality and increase the cost of doing business. Measuring employee engagement is analogous to going to the doctor – we never want to hear bad news. But GEA has consistently found that it’s better for managers to know and be able to react – than to not know.