An industry analyst this week cited "Employee Engagement and Trust" among a certain successful company's top "Secret Weapons" in its competition against industry giants with mega brands.
I'm sorry, what was that?How can sappy HR stuff be a competitive advantage or a key take away from a tech briefing for an industry analyst who is "one of the most recognized commentators on tech?"
Because Employee Engagement and Trust is no longer the stuff of sappy HR folks. It is the stuff of wise business people.
Gallup cites 25 - 29% of employees at any given company are engaged. I've seen other reports that go as high as 40%. [Reminds me of a joke EMC Founder Dick Egan used to say when asked how many people worked for him. "About half," he'd reply. Ha. Ha. Ha. .... only it isn't really funny, is it?]
Payroll is generally a company's biggest expense. Last I knew, at EMC, payroll was over $4 billion a year (a stat at least 2 years old). Getting the most bang for a BILLION-plus expense, is a business basic, if you asked me.
Engagement and Trust are the Energy Sources of THIS Century
It is time companies paid more attention to the hearts and the minds of their people. Respect them and they will respect you, your customers, and your business objectives back in spades.
We are in the knowledge era, no longer the industrial era. Our people are the new factories. How do we get the most productivity from the people? (Hint: Our factories needed fuel to run.) So do people.
What fuels people in business?
Things like trust, being treated like adults, being respected, being allowed to do what they are good at, being heard, being recognized, being able and empowered to make things happen! All the studies point to the pay check as the lowest contributor to an employee's satisfaction and engagement levels.
This isn't hard, once you decide to put your mind to it. You give your kid's teacher respect, you give your next door neighbor respect. You can't give at least that same level of a trusting, adult-to-adult level relationship to people who work for your company? Who actually have a vested personal interest in your company's success? (Note: I doubt they like being called "employees." They are people who choose to work at your company, just like you do.)
When we stop treating our workforce like mis-behaving children who need to be kept in a playpen and held to the rules "OR ELSE," they just might surprise you by being happy to be there, and give their best to help you amaze your customers, and destroy your competition.
------------------------- Talk Back -----------------------
Does your company still use "us and them" language that puts employees on another, lower feeling level?
Do you think professional adults with degrees like BAs, MBAs, and Ph.D.'s like being talked to on a lower level?
-- Polly Pearson