Research findings by the Harvard Business Review have found that employees who feel that they are thriving in the workplace demonstrated 16% better overall performance (as reported by their managers) and 125% less burnout (self-reported) than their peers.
They were 32% more committed to the organization and 46% more satisfied with their jobs. They also missed much less work and reported significantly fewer doctor visits, which meant health care savings and less lost time for the company. Moreover, a recent survey by the American Psychological Association shows that 48% of employees do not feel valued at work. Essentially, people feel underappreciated, disrespected and disengaged.
These sobering workplace statistics are interpreted as a dearth of bad news for some organizations that are dealing with strapped budgets, a continuing tight economy and lagging sales. However, many more organizations are able to see the opportunity that waits in the wings by turning disgruntled and disengaged workers from a liability to a growing asset for their organization.
Tying workplace performance exclusively to monetary rewards provides limited success and fosters even tighter budgets. For a much smaller investment, give employees the incentive they need to take personal responsibility for their careers:
- Communicate your culture often and in multiple venues. Make sure that employees are solidly entrenched in your brand and values. Do they really understand why the company exists? Is it to provide the best service? Unique products? Amazingly, many companies assume that employees are on board with their company culture. Remember, company cultures will grow and develop, whether leadership decides to take part or not. With that in mind, make sure that you are the architect of your organization’s culture by repeatedly communicating the core message in email signatures, company emails from leaders, opening and closing of meetings, and any other venue that’s possible in your setting.
- Take advantage of the 360-degree feedback tool. The power of a 360-degree feedback tool such as DISC is that everyone is evaluated by the people around them, regardless of position in the hierarchy. The hidden value of the DISC (or a similar 360-degree feedback tool) is that it disarms the jaded and cynical employees who are only sapping energy each day, versus engaging and serving the organization. They will be impacted merely by the fact that your organization is open to a level fled of evaluation.
- Arm yourself with engagement tools that you need. This is another low cost investment that pays off in high returns. Instead of “looking the other way” when it comes to areas that may require attention in your organization, hit them head on by acquiring the training tools you need, and getting rolling on the programs that will not only improve those areas, whether they are performance management, professionalism in the workplace, generational issues, personal productivity, or a host of others, they will clearly convey that the organization is invested in its employees. Just like the 360-degree feedback tool, it disarms the disengaged and fosters honest communication and personal accountability.