Engaging your employees enhances the bottom line. When they feel like partners and care about the organization’s success, they take initiative to boost productivity and delight customers.
Retailers such as Starbucks and Best Buy track the financial lift that engaged employees provide. At a Best Buy store, the value of a 0.1% rise in engagement translates into more than $100,000 to the store’s annual operating revenue.
How do you measure engagement? Use a system that rates staffers on three behaviors:
1. Positive messaging. Listen to how employees characterize your organization to customers, suppliers and friends. Ideally, you want to hear a glowing description that’s conveyed with genuine enthusiasm. Less engaged employees grimace or roll their eyes while summarizing their employer in a listless or cynical tone.
2. Sense of belonging. Highly engaged contributors identify intensely with your organization. They proudly act as a team, wear clothes with the company’s logo and serve as ambassadors who talk up the organization’s vital role in the community. They would never think of quitting to go elsewhere.
Poorly engaged people, by contrast, detach themselves from their employer. They skip optional activities such as joining the softball team or attending a colleague’s anniversary party, and they’ll jump ship if the right offer comes along.
3. Commitment to team success. You want to employ people who transcend their narrow job duties to drive the team toward ambitious goals. These motivated contributors strive for excellence rather than settle for middling performance.
Amid current challenging economic conditions, it’s harder to make everyone feel like treasured team members. But as long as you level with everyone, dignify their concerns and give them myriad reasons to affiliate with your organization, you increase the odds they’ll feel engaged and important.
— Adapted from “How Committed—and Motivated—Is Your Workforce?,” Aon ONE.
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