I have written several blogs on employee engagement and its strong linkage to the customer experience. Over the weekend, I was catching up on some reading and I ran across an article that was conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytics Service. The study was conducted in 2013 and covered a variety of industries and countries. I want to share some of the key findings as I found them both interesting and helpful.
- Companies started shifting their strategies to focus more on growth and a bit less on lowering costs (although still important)
- In order to achieve their growth strategies, there were four factors that managers focused on:
- High level of customer service
- Effective communications (internal and external)
- High level of employee engagement
- Strong executive leadership
- Employee engagement is ranked by 71% of respondents as very important to achieving overall organizational success.
- The researchers asked respondents to prioritize the importance of employee engagement to operational success. Those companies that were identified as “High Prioritizers” for employee engagement focused even more importance on customer service, effective communications, and strong executive leadership as a means to achieving organizational success.
- Interestingly, when they asked respondents how well positioned they were to create value for customers and shareholders in the coming year, only 39% of respondents rated their companies as well positioned.
Focusing more on the employee engagement results from the survey, respondents identified five of the most dynamic drivers of employee engagement. The findings confirmed much of what we have learned over the past few years of doing employee opinion surveys:
- Recognition given for high performers
- Individuals have a clear understanding of how job contributes to strategy
- Senior leadership continually updates/communicates strategy
- Business goals communicated company-wide and understood
- Individual goals aligned with corporate goals
There are some take-a-ways from this research that I want to share:
- Based on this sample of companies, it appears most companies are not well positioned to create value. Investments in people, processes and equipment have not kept pace with the needs. You still have time to strengthen your business and create more value.
- Recognition of strong performers is essential but there is a caveat when it comes to recognition. The value of recognition “currency” is diminished when applied to everyone, no matter their performance level. Top performers want that recognition; the value of recognition falls when those who are not strong performers receive it as well.
- Employees throughout an organization want to know about the company’s strategic direction. More importantly, they want to know how their efforts fit into the larger direction of the company. Obviously, this implies that communication throughout an organization is more critical than ever.
To view the entire article click this link. It is well worth reading. I welcome your thoughts and ideas as to how you are improving employee engagement in your organization. My email address is [email protected].