Do you want your employees to be truly engaged at work?
Do you want to improve your profitability?
For 15 years, Elisabet Vinberg Hearn of Think Solutions has been passionate about the idea that work should be fun, and that everyone can benefit from that – employees themselves, customers and other stakeholders, and last but not least – the company itself.
For four years Elisabet was part of a team at American Express Europe whose mission it was to create a workplace where people really wanted to be, a company culture where employees feel important, where they have the chance to do a good job and they are able to deliver a great customer experience. She learned from scratch what the different driving forces behind employee engagement are and how these lead to customer benefits and profitability, and how things can go very wrong when leaders are not aware of this dynamic.
Numerous local and global studies over the last 20 years indicate that as many as two thirds of employees are not fully engaged at work. This means that they may physically be at work but they are not fully involved in what’s going on there, they may do what they have to but not more, they just long for the weekend or see their job as a “necessity” to make money so they can do what they really want in life.
Apart from the fact that this is very wasteful from a company’s point of view who pays for people’s time but don’t get access to their full capacity, it’s also a big waste of human resources on an individual level. Imagine what a waste of your time it would be to be at work for maybe 7-8 hours per day if you’re not fully engaged, not enjoying being there nor feeling that it’s valuable. We doubt that anyone wants to be in such a situation.
There’s plenty that an organization can do to improve employee engagement and this is what Think Solutions help organizations do.
Employee engagement is largely driven by leadership. How the immediate leader works with his/her employees is of massive importance to their engagement. One example of this is the leader needing to communicate clear expectations of the employees and then giving feedback at least once a week on the job that’s been performed. This may seem frequent, but the fact is that people need to be seen and heard on a regular basis, otherwise employees may start distancing themselves and simply not giving it their all.
Another important factor which leaders can help their employees with is clarifying the purpose of their work. Why does the team or the company work with what they do? What’s the purpose? And how does each person contribute to that purpose through their job? It’s in our human nature to want to understand “the why”.
It’s not however the leader’s responsibility to “make” employees engaged. Everyone is ultimately responsible for the their own degree of engagement, but with an understanding of the drivers of employee engagement the leader can create the right circumstances which can make engagement happen.
And engagement pays off. It leads to satisfied and loyal customers (it can even lead to engaged customers), which in turn improves profitability. Engaged employees leads to 12-15% higher productivity and 51% lower employee turnover (source: Gallup).
So having engaged employees is not just “nice to have”, it’s an absolute necessity for sustainable profitability.
Think Solutions was founded by Elisabet Hearn in 2001 and operates in the UK and globally with large corporations as well as some small companies. We help companies improve their profitability through their company culture, how they lead and engage their people. Our value proposition includes consultancy, key note speaking, leadership, communication, change and personal development seminars, 360 degree feedback, coaching and the interactive knowledge game Brand Game®. We also provide other tailored solutions based on our clients’ needs. Some of the companies we’ve had the pleasure to work with include American Express, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Skanska, Trygg-Hansa and IKEA.