When I peruse through the results of staff engagement surveys, it’s hard not to succumb to a throb of despair. There are way too many people disengaged. What’s happened to the workforce? Perhaps it’s one of Darwin’s theories influencing me, no not his ‘survival of the fittest’ views, but rather his view that sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. In Darwin’s, ‘Descent of man’ he mentioned survival of the fittest twice and mentioned the word love 95 times.
Now before I get sentimental…I need to acknowledge that commercially led firms need to be profitable (survival of the fittest) or they won’t be able to pay their staff. But I have a pretty rudimentary theory here that the more engaged, aligned and communal an organization is the better positioned they are to be profitable. I know there are a lot of assumptions I’m building into this premise, but work with me.
According to a recent Gallup Poll – Work units in the top-quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer rating, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity. Work units in the top quartile also have significantly lower turnover.
In a recent Forbes article, the author said, “Employees’ customer service productivity scores and their employee engagement scores had a correlation. In a major department store chain, customers scored higher in customer engagement measures when they were serviced in departments with employees who had high levels of employee engagement.”
This all makes sense and is probably not a surprise to any of you reading this. Then why aren’t employees more engaged?
An HBR survey showed that while more and more companies are instituting employee engagement programs to improve and cultivate higher engagement, most are in the nascent stages of measuring their efforts against tangible business performance numbers.
I also believe we are in the nascent stages of real employee engagement, but with the competitive pressures increasing and the need to outflank fast moving competitors isn’t it more important than ever to be engaging with the front line of the organization.
If the basis of cooperation is in our DNA, why not leverage this trait and figure out ways to start sharing and cooperating. We all learn from other human beings – we would have never survived in the early stages if it wasn’t for compassion and empathy….I certainly didn’t learn to walk on my own. I’m seriously digressing.
Human entanglement – we have the inherent ability to connect and evolve concepts. The corporation has surpassed the ‘nascent’ stage in its life-cycle and it’s time we start creating a culture of sharing, exploring and creating – where the employee’s voice can be heard….exercising a little employee love will certainly led to staff engagement…and just think of the profitability!