Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Jimmy Wright – Lead Recognition Consultant at RED – Recognise Every Day. His opinions are his own.
Over half of your employees don’t want to be at work today, and 26% of them are actively looking for another job entirely.
Imagine the impact that’s having on their productivity and performance. And imagine the cost this is going to have on your business when the disengaged folks inevitably leave, and you’re stuck with spending time and money hiring a replacement (about $138K per person, if you want the average figure). Times that number by your company’s rate of unwanted attrition, and that’s a lot of money walking out the door, every year.
If these stark employee engagement figures (taken from on the Towers Watson Global Workforce Study) are freaking you out a little, that’s ok. You’re not alone.
I’ve worked with hundreds of companies who are experiencing the very same wake up call. The good news is, like them, you’re not completely helpless either.
Here are 3 simple, but effective ways to keep your people engaged and prevent your hard earned money from going down the drain (or walking out the door).
1. Get clear on your purpose
Purpose as a critical motivator is discussed all over psychology and business literature, from Maslow to Dan Pink. So the idea that people want – and need – to be part of something bigger than themselves in order to thrive isn’t new.
If your company’s purpose isn’t defined, or it’s only clear to you and half the leadership team – but not to your employees – then it’s time to step back and reassess your priorities.
Unless your people know what success looks like for your business, they aren’t going to know how to help you get there. As our General Manager at RED, Jemma Fastnedge says, “If an individual doesn’t believe in what your company stands for, then they simply won’t do their best work.”
2. Get rid of loser leadership
If your people leaders are still operating in the archaic command-control mindset, then consider them (at least in part!) responsible for why your talent is disengaged.
If you want your business to succeed in this century, then say goodbye to last-century leadership styles that were born in the industrial era. Command-control just isn’t going to cut it in this economy.
If you want your people to spend their time finding better, more efficient ways to get the job done (instead of, oh, I don’t know, looking for a better job), then listen to what four years of research and thousands of employees have told us: proactive leaders that put people first and set the standard by example is the way to go.
3. Get strategic with your recognition
How much would you be willing to pay to retain your top talent? Does the idea of dishing out scores of end-of-year bonuses make you sweat?
What if I told you it could cost less than a cup of coffee a day to make sure the salary you’re paying your best people isn’t just money thrown out the window?
Investing in a strategic recognition program is proof that you notice and value your employees’ contribution to the business – not just once a year but every day. It’s a simple, effective way to boost motivation, performance and commitment all year ’round.
At RED we know the power recognition has to boost employee engagement and bring the best out in people. We design our software to help people like you amplify and reward the things that make your workplace one your employees are not only committed to, but boast openly about.
Sometimes I’m baffled by the businesses that can’t see the link between an engaged workforce that is both productive and proactive, and the company’s bottom line or customer services scores.
A lot of this seems like common sense; an employee who understands and is aligned to your purpose is going to be more committed to helping you succeed. A customer service rep who feels supported and valued by their manager and peers is going to mirror support and value to the customers they serve.
Invest strategically in your people, and instead of seeing your money going down the drain, you’ll see it working harder and smarter for you.
If you want to find out more about what successful companies are doing to drive employee engagement up and push unwanted attrition numbers down, check out the 2014 Engagement Capability Report or join us for the Leadership Styles and and Recognition Strategies Webinar on Thursday Nov 6, 1-2pm AEST. The team at RED will help you identify the areas to focus on improving employee engagement.
Jimmy Wright is a Lead Recognition Consultant at RED – Recognise Every Day, a company within the RedBalloon group that uses the power of employee recognition to create better, more connected workplaces. Over the last ten years Jimmy has helped hundreds of organisations increase employee engagement and productivity by helping them recognise and bring out the best in their people.