Maybe you are wondering why you should care about employee engagement. Thomas J. Walter, chief culture officer at Tasty Catering, believes you should care because “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and its values, vision and mission, resulting in the increased use of discretionary effort.”
Speaking at a recent NationaLease meeting, Walter said that according to a Gallup poll, only 33% of workers in the average organization could be described as engaged. At world-class organizations that jumps to 67% and at Tasty Catering it is 92%. One of the obvious benefits of having an engaged workforce is that you can accomplish the same amount of work with fewer people. Where an average company might require 303 people, a world-class company would only need 149; Tasty Catering could get the same work done with only 100 people.
But beyond a reduced headcount, organizations with higher employee engagement have:
- 48% fewer safety incidents
- 41% fewer quality incidents
- 20% more productivity
- 21% more profitability
- 100% higher customer loyalty
- 25%-65% lower employee turnover
So how do you get employee engagement? It starts with your leadership team. Leaders need to build respect and trust and need to have an emotional commitment to the work they are doing and the people they are leading. Walter said that good leaders anticipate, communicate, delegate and motivate.
During the hiring process, screen for skills and leadership and make sure to hire for culture match.
Walter shared four advantages of a sound organizational culture:
- Culture cannot be replicated whereas products, capabilities and services can
- Prized culture attracts and retains top performers
- Culture underpins competitive advantage and higher financial performance
- Culture engages employees, inspires loyalty and increases discretionary effort
Using Tasty Catering as an example, Walter shared the company’s core values. It is important to remember that each company has its own core values and must articulate those clearly to everyone in the organization.
The outcome of Tasty Catering’s employee engagement efforts was an 8.1% increase in sales from 2017 to 2018, a 14% increase in profit and an employee turnover of only 4%. In addition, the company was recognized by a variety of publications as being a good place to work, a top small business and a healthy place to work.
If you are not working on improving employee engagement, now is a good time to begin looking at what you need to do to get your employees more engaged.
Walter shared a quote from Mary Parker Follet, a pioneer in the field of organizational behavior. She said: “The best leader knows how to make his followers actually feel power themselves, not merely acknowledge his power.”
Are your managers doing that?