Investing In Your Employees: Why It Matters
One of the most frequently cited statistics that I run into on a periodic basis is how disengaged or dissatisfied employees are in America. A hundred years ago much of the chafing was due to long hours and high pressure to do more while being paid a pittance. Those circumstances are what drove the move toward unionization so that workers had rights. Sick pay and pensions were unheard of in 1900, but eventually became more the norm for companies that wanted to retain good employees.
Today, dissatisfied employees find themselves in a wholly different set of circumstances. We’re all familiar with the expression “golden handcuffs.” They are well paid and have benefits, but the work culture all too often leaves them feeling demeaned and, according to Gallup polls on workplace engagement, they are disengaged. Why is this?
Investing in Your Employees: The Engaged Worker
First off, let’s try to identify what an engaged employee looks like. One attribute of engaged employees is that they look forward to going to work every day. Heading to the office on Monday morning energizes them. They enjoy their work, enjoy being part of a team that is solving problems, accomplishing goals that matter.
The Gallup organization has done extensive research in this area. Over the past 20 years they have conducted more than two million interviews pertaining to employee engagement. Why? Because they’ve found that engaged employees are happier employees who will perform better than your competitors.
Here’s an eye-opening stat. Gallup research revealed that managers played a significant role in this matter of employee engagement. Managers accounted for “at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores.” What this means is that if you want to improve morale, performance and engagement, invest in your managers. A great manager can lift the energy and engagement level of their entire team.
You’ll also want to invest in your foot soldiers as well, because this is where your future managers will rise from.
Investing in Your Employees: Talent Development
Having said all this, why don’t more businesses invest in their employees’ development? Could it be that employers fear that workers will leave once they have more skills and experience? A Forbes article titled Making Strategic Investments in Employee Development Is Crucial to Success states that the opposite will occur. Not only does employee investment result in employee retention, it also has the effect of attracting great employees from outside the company.
I realize that it has become cliché to say it, but you’re only as good as your team. This is one reason you want to invest in your team, to increase their value to the company and to the communities you serve. You are also affirming their value as persons.
Investing in Your Employees: Going the Extra Mile
When you treat people like people, and not just cogs in a wheel, you are making a statement. When you go the extra mile for your workers, they will more gladly go the extra mile for you.
As Richard Branson once stated, “Customers come second, employees first. It’s a philosophy that brings unexpected benefits to both the company and its clients.” Those unexpected benefits will be many, for both your business and your customers.
About the Author
Now retired from a 30+ year career in advertising, marketing & PR, Ed Newman continues to do freelance writing (since 1982) and daily blogging (since 2007). He is also an artist and enjoys playing harmonica.
For more info check out: pioneerproductions.blogspot.com
This article was originally published as a guest post at https://audacityhr.com.