Much is written these days about the importance of employee engagement and its impact on business performance. This paper presents what we believe is a compelling case that employee engagement is an actual prerequisite which enables an organisation to truly achieve its potential. Along with our partners we have invested many years both researching and conducting consultancy projects in this area and the data provides solid evidence about the connection between engagement and business performance.
Before we present the evidence it is important to establish exactly what we mean by employee engagement. In essence we define the concept as a state in which individuals in an organisation feel fully committed and motivated in their work in such a way that they go beyond the expected contribution and deliver distinguishing contribution – i.e. they go the extra mile. To achieve this outcome we refer to the idea of establishing a powerful organisational climate within which people operate.
Through many years of work and with thousands of individuals we have established Organisational Climate as a differentiator between outstanding and average performing organisations. Climate is defined as what it feels like to work in an organisation and in our framework we position Climate as consisting of six critical dimensions including:
Clarity – do people have a sense of purpose and direction and understand what they are supposed to do and why
Challenge – do people experience a sense of fulfilment in their work where their skills are used fully and appropriately and with the opportunity to improve
Change Orientation – do people feel enthusiastic about change with a sense that they can make things happen rather than be blocked by organisational obstacles
Autonomy – do people feel the ability to get on with the job without always having to check
Recognition – do people feel a sense of relationship between effort and reward
Involvement – do people feel committed to the direction and proud to be part of the organisation
We have collected data from over 25,000 managers in terms of their behaviour and the Climate of the organisations that they manage. This demonstrates a clear link between each of these dimensions and a raft of performance indicators. The data shows two clear findings. The first, is that if you compare outstanding with average performing organisations in terms of bottom line performance (i.e. sales, customer service, growth, safety performance, efficiency etc) you will see that the outstanding organisation reflects a measurably better Climate than the average. The second finding is that if you can find a way of enhancing the Climate you will see that a measurable improvement will underpin a subsequent improvement in bottom line performance outcomes.
We have observed this effect across a wide range of different sectors and cultures. When the Climate is positive it generates a deep level of motivation in the individual and they feel engaged. Put in ordinary language an individual will be fully engaged when they are clear about what they need to do, feel their skills are used appropriately, have a sense of positivity about the change involved, feel able to get on with stuff without having to check and experience a sense of being valued and rewarded appropriately. Finally, they are committed and proud to be part of the organisation.
This notion of Climate is what we regard as reflecting engaged employees and is shown in the Integrated Framework in figure 1. The model also illustrates three critical change levers which help form and drive Climate. These include the effectiveness of the organisation and its structure, the effectiveness of the behaviour of leaders and teams and finally the effectiveness of processes such as communication, decision making and so on. The essence of this model is that these change levers determine the Climate and therefore how engaged people will be. This in turn drives business performance.
Blu4 Performance is a Process of Development which normally but not exclusively precedes Managing People for Growth. It ensures your Leaders/Mangers are able to create maximum “want to in others” We know what great Supervisors, Team Leaders and Managers Blu4 scores are from the 25,000 or so who have completed so why not find out how close your Management Talent is to the Benchmark! As one recent participant said to me “ now I get it, what I’ve been doing up until now is trying to get my people to do things that I care passionately about, what Blu4™ has taught me is I now need to get other people to WANT to do things I care passionately about”
Our On-Line Personal Analytics will allow to establish your Blu4 score as perceived by those you lead. Even the most intellectually cynical Managers and Leaders get it
Here is what a few have had to say recently.
How it Works:
- Select the Leader/Manager/Supervisor to be assessed
- Candidate, Boss, Peers and Reports complete the OnLine analytic on the candidates engagement Style
- Report generated
- 2 Hours one to one feedback follows
- Action Plan Created including the 10% behavior change required to boost climate, increase engagement and lift sustainable productivity