In the world of finance, it is easy for the focus to be on the numbers. But as a manager, it is critical for you to realize that only when employees feel engaged will they bring their worth to the job they do.
In fact, research tells us companies with high sustainable engagement deliver operating margins that are three times higher than those of low-engagement companies, almost half the sick days (7.5 days lost per year), and a 41 per cent lower risk of resignations. So how can you bring out the WORTH of your employees?
If you want to get the biggest Return On Investment, bring out the best in your employees … and as a result, enhance your bottom line, try the WORTH Formula, five tips to enhance employee engagement:
W = Welcome Ideas. The individuals doing the job are in the best position to know what will make that job easier. Create opportunities for employees to share their ideas in a risk-free environment, and make a special effort to act on any ideas you possibly can.
O = Observe. In order to observe your folks at work, you have to be present. That means you get out of your office and into the area where your employees are working. It means you show up, unannounced, when you have no other agenda than walking around. This is a great time to have brief conversations, acknowledge special events, or take notice of any interpersonal issues that may be signals of larger problems. Keep your eyes open, generate discussions, and listen! Once people realize this is part of your new behavior, they will look forward to your impromptu visits.
R = Recognize. Obvious rewards, such as bonuses and promotions, are nice and always welcome; however, what I’m talking about here are those unexpected opportunities to recognize small achievements. Celebrate a new customer; honor a risky decision that paid off; praise a failure that led to a new and better idea. It is a time-honored principle that people will repeat behavior they are rewarded for, so be on the lookout for opportunities to sincerely, verbally, and publicly let people know what you want to see repeated.
T = Team Up. In the finance field, people can often feel isolated. But research clearly indicates that people produce more when they are surrounded by others who support their goals and share their vision. So make the time to bring everyone together in team building events. They don’t have to be expensive, off-site programs. The key is to be absolutely sure that everything you do clearly has a purpose and relates to the job. My favorite team building agenda is a two-hour get-together with pizza or other favorite treat. Have a quick interaction of some sort, then spend the rest of the time debriefing and discussing it, identifying metaphors from the activity that bring home the power of working together, even if they normally work apart!
H = Hesitate. Before you make a decision … before you ream out an employee … before you begin a difficult meeting … Hesitate! Take a few moments, breathe deeply, and listen to your intuitive guidance. This one tip alone could save you huge problems!
When you take the time to consciously practice these five tips, you will bring out the WORTH of every employee. In response, employees will be more engaged, excited, and involved … and you will experience a warmer workplace, fewer people issues, and greater productivity. So start right now, and bring incredible WORTH to your workplace!
Research Credit (Smith, F., Sustainable employee engagement: forget the office fun park, because happiness is not enough, BRW, April 24, 2013).
About Cher Holton, Ph.D.
Since 1984, Cher Holton has been President of The Holton Consulting Group, Inc., helping corporate and association clients enhance bottom-line results through work and life enrichment, specializing in transforming ordinary people into extraordinary performers. Her keynote speeches, turbo-training, team building, and coaching sessions are practical, grounded in research, and lots of fun to boot! She is a prolific author, and one of a handful of professionals who have earned both the Certified Speaking Professional and the Certified Management Consultant designations.