Posted by nyssa on February 21, 2013 in , , ,

A key challenge for many organisations is creating a highly productive workforce and retaining this talent. Research consistently demonstrates that organisations with an engaged and committed workforce have higher productivity and profitability, lower turnover and higher customer satisfaction and retention levels.

It is possible for all organisations to achieve this. First, let’s properly understand the terms engagement and commitment.

Engagement: an engaged employee is one who is absorbed in their work and willing to ‘go above and beyond what is expected’ (behavioural). They are highly satisfied, enthusiastic about their job and feel valued for the work that they do (emotional). They understand how their role contributes to an organisation’s objectives (cognitive).

Commitment: a committed employee intends to stay at the organisation (permanent employees only) and would recommend the company as a place to work (behavioural), experiences a high level of satisfaction and pride working for the organisation (emotional) and understands what the company stands for (cognitive).

An individual may be committed to an organisation but not like their job. And the reverse can also be true, an individual may be engaged in their role but not like the organisation that they work for. For optimum productivity, both engagement and commitment must be high.

The good news is that engaged and committed employees are ‘made’, not born. The conditions for business success can be created and nurtured.

But first, it is important to understand where the organisation is currently placed with respect to the engagement and commitment of their team members (I have always used a great tool called The Talent Pulse, which highlights how close an organisation is to Optimal productivity).

Have you or anyone you know ever left a company for a reason that, in hindsight was a ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ rather than just one incident? This is often the case. I often speak with many people who really wish their voice could be heard, so that some of the frustrations that ultimately lead to them leaving could be overcome in time.

According to a recent report by Mercer Consulting, 25% of Australians will change jobs in the next 12 months, which will cost 50-150% of each individual’s salary. Employee turnover is very expensive, especially the hidden costs such as re-training, loss of knowledge, and opportunity-cost.

One of our fastest growing services is our Employee Insights area. When conducted the right way, employee research is a non-intrusive way of collecting valuable ‘honest’ opinions about various elements of an Employee’s Experience with the company.

The 12 dimensions of an employee’s experience are:

  • Senior Leadership
  • Manager Effectiveness
  • Team Work
  • Reward
  • Performance Measurement
  • Decision Making
  • Conditions for Success
  • Job Characteristics
  • Career Development
  • Brand
  • Recruitment/On-boarding
  • Health, Safety & Wellbeing

By understanding the employee’s view of their experience across each dimension, the leadership of an organisation is in a very good position to make decisions which can ultimately drive greater productivity and profitability. These techniques are very effective, and help to focus on the right opportunities and priorities in order to improve productivity (it is easy to spend time and resources on things that don’t actually matter). So; is it time you investigated how engaged your workforce is?

Jason Buchanan – General Manager – WA / SE Asia

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