When your staff are engaged in the workplace they are happy – and equally as importantly, they are productive and motivated to perform. There is robust data supporting the business benefits of fostering an engaged workforce in small and large business. It pays to make it a priority. Gallup in 2012 found that organisations who ranked in the top quartile for engaged employees had a 22 per cent higher profitability and 10 per cent higher customer service rating than those in the bottom quartile.*
Conversely, the negative impact of unengaged staff on business is high. Aside from reduced productivity and customer service, it is estimated that the cost of replacing staff is between 16 per cent and 200 per cent percent of their annual salary depending upon their role and seniority.**
Within small business, where there are arguably a higher percentage of part-timers and casuals, creating a focused workforce can be a challenge. Certain industries by their nature attract more transient employees which can engagement even more complex to achieve. All the more reason to make every moment count! As Stephen Covey says: “Start with the end in mind.” ***
Remember first impressions do count. Employees who have a positive introduction to their role are more likely to remain in the role longer. Research also shows that a strong onboarding program can boost new hire productivity by 70 per cent.****
Create and share clear goals. Reward success.
Research suggests that workers who are given autonomy to make decisions, offer opinions and suggest change are more engaged and motivated to perform.*
It is open, authentic and frequent quality communication from you and/or your Managers that will make or break your staff’s engagement.
Create strong organisational values
A workplace with integrity lives and breathes a culture where respect prevails.
Choosing to invest in your people is choosing to invest in your business. Engaged employees working a stellar culture supported by leaders who communicate positively and openly can be the key to move your business performance from ordinary to exceptional.
* Sorenson, S. 2012: How employee engagement drives growth. Gallup Business Journal
** Boustley, H et al. 2012: There are significant business costs to replacing employees. Centre for American Progress
*** Covey, S. 1989: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Free Press
**** Stack, R et al. 2015: Creating People advantage 2014-2015: How to set up great HR Functions. BCG Perspectives
***** Scholz, W. 2015: The average cost to train a new employee. Chron
Lexie Wilkins, Culture and Employee-Engagement Expert and Director, Lexie Wilkins Consulting