Coming off the back of one the worst global recessions in history, where employees have faced lack of job security, pay freezes and broken promises, employers can no longer afford to take employee engagement for granted. Surveys show that employee engagement levels are worryingly low across the world. This Gallup poll of 180 million employees world-wide tells us that just 13% of employees are engaged. Employee engagement levels in Australia are thankfully a little higher, with 26% of workers being engaged in their work, however this still means that 74% of workers in Western Australia are not engaged in their work.
What does it matter if employees are engaged? It matters to your bottom line as disengaged employees lack motivation, are less productive, spread negativity and they won’t go the extra mile for your clients to ensure customer delight. Only the engaged workers will go the extra mile to delight your customers.
You should also be aware that some sectors in Australia are more prone to disengaged workers than others. It seems that: transportation workers, production workers, sales staff, managers and clerical/office workers are especially disengaged from their work. And if you employ a lot of staff in this areas, your bottom line profits will be taking a much bigger hit.
The good news is that your employee engagement levels are not fixed; they can be improved. Yes, by using the right kind of people initiatives, you can drive up employee engagement levels and watch your productivity and customer satisfaction levels soar.
So, what’s the first step? Addressing employee engagement issues begin with measurement. It means listening to employee’s opinions on what it’s like working for you, using an employee engagement survey – and being prepared to hear both the good news and the bad news. This gives you an idea of the causes of low engagement within your workforce. It’s crucial that you take the findings of your engagement survey and convert this into a concrete plan of corrective action.
Of course, raising employee engagement levels can be a challenging prospect for a business, so if you do have an engagement challenge, why not try out our STAR Workplace Program which is designed to help boost employee engagement, raise productivity and boost profit margins.
Many small business leaders believe that high performance is primarily dependent on an employee’s job related skills, that is, the more technically gifted and qualified workers are, the better they perform. There is more to high performance than just knowledge. Countless studies show that attitude and social skills are the key determinants of workplace effectiveness and productivity. This study from Leadership IQ of 25,000 professionals shows that only 11% of workers fail due to technical skills and the overwhelming 89% fail due to lack of interpersonal and social skills.
If you want to drive productivity in your business, you need to put an emphasis on developing interpersonal skills in your employees, as it is the key performance differentiator. There are many ways to boost interpersonal skills, but as any good Perth HR consultant will tell you, one of the most effective ways to do this is to profile your workforce, using a behavioural profiling tool, ideally based on a robust methodology such as Everything DiSC. DiSC is the acronym of the four primary dimensions of behaviour: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. There are other behavioural profiling methodologies available, however DiSC may be more suited to the often resource stretched small-medium company as it has a simpler language and is easier to implement.
And so how can DiSC based behavioral profiling boost productivity in your business? By, profiling your workforce using Everything DISC, each employee gets to understand their DiSC behavioural profile or preferred way of working, which may work well with some colleagues and not so well with others, (destroying synergy as a result). The understanding of both their DiSC profile and that of their colleague helps them develop techniques to improve communication with the various DiSC styles, thus boosting synergy, team cohesion and productivity. Managers can also learn to become adaptable, elevating engagement and productivity across the business.
Company environments can be turbulent where a range of conflicting personalities are thrown together compounded by the demands of business. And if you are not deploying a behavioural profiling system like Everything DiSC it’s very likely that your business is under-optimized and productivity is suffering as a direct result of poor team synergy.
The good news is that implementing Everything DiSC based profiling is very achievable for any committed business owner or senior manager and you can read more about how we could help you with this with our Everything DiSC (accredited program).