Why Are Culture and Engagement So Important?
When business leaders are asked to name their biggest asset, what do you think most would pinpoint? Their answers could easily range from product to property, or the customer base.
While these are all correct answers, the only true answer in my opinion is – employees. At the end of the day, your workers on the frontline ensure that customers are serviced well and the business continues to tick over, meeting the expectations of senior management, CEOs and stakeholders alike.
However, this part of the equation often slips the mind of business leaders. Without the dedication, loyalty and respect of an employee base, an enterprise will not progress economically, socially or within the reputation of their market. It is one thing to have a strong industry presence, but if this isn’t coupled with solid culture and employee engagement – a business will never reach its full potential.
This was recently highlighted in the ninth version of Gallup’s Q12 Meta-Analysis Report.
Gallup Q12 Meta-Analysis Report – an overview
Put simply, the report aims to create a strong link between employee engagement and an organisation’s bottom line. In 2016, the analysis included the thoughts of 1.8 million employees across 82,000 business/work units. The results covered 73 countries – including Australia – as well as 49 industries, providing a comprehensive overview of the correlation between employee engagement and business performance across 12 elements.
The ‘Q12’ refers to a list of 12 questions developed by Gallup to measure employee engagement. This includes insight into whether workers have the materials and equipment to do their work, whether higher management seems to care about an individual’s progression, whether people get praise or whether they have a best friend at work. Alongside eight other questions, business leaders can gain clear information about the morale of their team.
While the results were not surprising, they do highlight the benefit of business leaders taking an active role in enterprise culture and employee engagement. According to Gallup, top-quartile business/work units outperform bottom-quartile units by 21 per cent in profitability, 20 per cent in productivity, 17 per cent in production records and 10 per cent in customer loyalty and engagement – all outcomes that organisations want to see for a profitable future.
At the other end of the spectrum, bottom-quartile units were more often linked to absenteeism, safety incidents, defects in quality, shrinkage and overall turnover. Essentially, all these factors could have an negative impact on the bottom line – highlighting the value of an engaged and happy workforce.
In conclusion, Gallup noted the value of this data for business leaders.
“These findings are important because they mean generalisable tools can be developed and used across different organisations with a high level of confidence that they elicit important performance-related information,” the authority stated in the report.
“The data from the present study provide further substantiation to the theory that doing what is best for employees does not have to contradict what is best for the business or organisation.”
Gallup explained that regardless of factors such as technology changes, economic adjustments or market trends, employee engagement consistently affects key performance outcomes. As such, is your organisation doing enough to promote a good work culture?
Are your employees engaged?
Based on Gallup’s State of the American Workplace, just 30 per cent of US-based employees are engaged with their work. In fact, this statistic plummets to just 13 per cent among worldwide workers. Gallup notes that these numbers have not moved for over a decade – highlighting that business leaders need to take a more active role in promoting engagement.
This same report noted that businesses lose between $450 billion and $550 billion due to employee disengagement. This begs an interesting question – what active changes will you make to ensure that culture and engagement doesn’t hurt your bottom line?
Identifying the unengaged
One of the first steps is to identify who among your workforce is not engaged. According to Part III of theEMPLOYEEapp’s 2015 Mobile Trends in the Workplace survey, those in internal communications and human resource positions understand this issue better than other departments.
CEO of theEMPLOYEEapp Jeff Corbin explained that just 37 per cent of respondents believe their workforce is engaged.
“Not only do employers acknowledge the problems that their companies face with respect to engagement, but they also recognise the importance of communications to improving it,” he said.
“The failure of their companies to stay ahead of the technological curve and to appeal to the needs of their employees will only become more evident as lower productivity, due to lack of engagement, continues.”
This is where EmployeeConnect can be of assistance. As a leader in HR technology solutions, we can help to ensure that your HR department has the tools and processes to promote an engaged workforce. To learn more about our approach and technology, feel free to reach out to us today.