The Productivity Impact of Engaging Your Workforce

Here is a brief excerpt from an article written by Mike Marker and featured at the Organizational Excellence Journal‘s website. In it, he suggests “nine simple ways to positively affect engagement.” To read the complete article, check out others, learn more about the Journal‘s resources and activities, and sign up for email updates, please click here.

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In every issue of the Organizational Excellence Journal, we answer a question one of our readers or our editor asks on an important topic. In this issue, Mike Marker, Senior Management Consultant in Sinclair Group’s Organizational Excellence Practice, answers the following question.

Q: How does engaging employees affect an organization’s productivity and profitability?

A: There are nine simple ways to positively affect engagement. But here’s a little background. Although the concept of employee engagement has been around for a while, it has taken on different forms, and people often refer to it by other names: “participation,” “involvement” and “commitment” to describe a workplace culture that considers maximizing the talents of a work force for better job satisfaction and business performance. The terms and strategies have changed as companies have come to better understand what employee engagement is and how to achieve it. Likewise, the objectives and tactics have evolved.

In the early ’70s, the Procter & Gamble (P&G) company employed strategies to build “employee commitment” within its paper products division and held that the high performance work system concept used in their manufacturing plants gave them a competitive edge. This work system provided employees with a full range of communication on work unit performance, included them in operational decision making, and provided them with greatly broadened work roles and responsibilities. Years later, David Swanson, P&G’s Vice President of Manufacturing Operations, stated that their high commitment manufacturing plants were 30 to 40 percent more productive than their traditional counterparts.

In “Ideas the Welch Way: How Healthy is Your Company,” (in the September 29, 1986 issue of BusinessWeek) the magazine asked General Electric CEO Jack Welch to identify the three best measures of a company’s health. Welch cited employee engagement first, customer satisfaction second and free cash flow third.

All organizations are interested in tapping into their employees’ capabilities. Effective leaders have learned that traditional or control leadership practices don’t lead to high levels of performance. They have learned what is important isn’t what your people do while you’re supervising them but what they do when you are not there.

Effective leaders have also found that soft or laissez-faire practices do not produce consistently good results. What they found is that their organizations need leadership practices that promote accountability, initiative taking and ownership of the work. It’s also important that leaders communicate positive regard and respect to employees, that they appreciate and value subordinates’ skills, knowledge and ideas.

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To take a self-assessment survey and find out where you stand on a variety of crucial categories like change management, employee performance, knowledge management, employee relations, safety practices, energy level and more, please click here.

We will email you two reports — Your organizational profile and a Predictor of Success Scale. We’ll also send you our Leading From Commitment® White Paper and provide a consultant to share ideas for performance improvement based on the findings in your assessment reports. Of course, there is no charge or obligation for this meaningful analysis.

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To read the complete article, please click here.

Mike Marker is a Senior Management Consultant in Sinclair Group’s Organizational Excellence Practice.

 

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