The Value of an Engaged Workforce
I’ve been on no fewer than 10 calls over the past several weeks with heads of HR and talent acquisition specialists at some of the best employers in the country, and they’re all saying the same thing about the recruiting environment right now: “I’ve never seen anything like this”.
Given that, they’re also sharing how incredibly important it is to keep the employees they do have! And, the best ones of that bunch have a maniacal focus on ensuring their existing employees are happy and engaged because they know that their engaged employees turn over 24% less than those who aren’t.
So, what are they prioritizing right now in order to do that? Two basic things: 1) Organization-Led Engagement; and 2) Frontline Leader-Led Engagement. We’re going to focus on Organization-Led Engagement in this post and jump into Frontline Leader-Led Engagement in a follow-up post.
Organization-Led Engagement: 4 Tips to Boost Hourly Employee Engagement
Your senior leaders at your organization need to be aligned with the actions required to engage the hearts and minds of front-line employees. Too often, a company’s strategy from above is at odds with the ingrained practices and attitudes of its culture. Culture is a reflection of what the organization stands for and believes in, how things are done and how employees behave. Leaders drive culture, and culture drives engagement. These four sets of actions at the organization level will help ensure that you’re setting up your frontline leaders to be successful in their efforts to drive engagement at the front-line level:
- Constantly share your organization’s inspiring mission (and if you don’t have one, establish one!). This provides a higher purpose for the organization and gives the work performed by employees greater meaning and impact.
- Make a connection for employees between the organization’s mission and strategy and the contributing work they do in their job each day. Give specific examples of when people on the frontline are living that out.
- Constantly share the organization’s core values that serve as guideposts for employee behaviors and decisions. Provide specific examples of when people on the frontline are living that out and the impact it’s making.
- Ensure frontline leaders are on the same page and committed to taking the actions necessary to reinforce the mission and values with their employees.
- Build pride in the organization and trust in leadership through frequent and transparent communications.
- Be diligent about keeping employees at all levels informed about organizational priorities, objectives, and progress - especially the success stories! Revenue records, company milestones, etc.
- As stated above, share stories and testimonials describing examples of mission and values-focused behaviors.
- Invite feedback from employees, and provide a mechanism for two-way dialogue.
- Establish the ideal frontline leader profile (who I am, what I do and how I do it) as a guide for selecting and developing frontline leaders who are best equipped to build trusting relationships and engage others.
- Provide frontline leaders with a feedback mechanism for identifying and understanding areas for improvement and suggestions for self-development.
- Establish engagement as a core responsibility and accountability for frontline leaders.
- Conduct periodic employee surveys to gauge employees’ perception of their experience and engagement levels.
- Provide frontline leaders with survey feedback to prioritize areas for improvement, and establish personal development plans.
- Establish an employee experience and engagement index to track and compare business units, and set priorities and accountability for improvement.
Having a happy and engaged frontline workforce is more important than ever right now - it can move your bottom-line results by multiple zeros. And, it starts with having a laser focus on Organization-Led Engagement of your frontline employees. Without it, it’s nearly impossible to attain the engagement your organization could.
As writer and leadership expert Patrick Lencioni says so well, “If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”