Organizations that have yet to figure out that employees are more than “assets” need to figure out How to Stop Driving Away Good Employees. The number one thing employees are looking for is cultural fit. That’s not saying compensation is not important, but compensation has transitioned from salary, benefits and bonuses to an environment that is collaborative, cooperative, engaging and empowering. According to Gallup Research, employees are looking to feel valued and involved and research over 50 years has shown that employees who are engaged and empowered produce at a higher rate and deliver better outcomes.
But only 15% of employees worldwide and 35% in the U.S. fall in the “engaged” category.
Is that where your employees are? Engaged employees do not bring problems to you, they bring solutions to you. Empowered employees do not ask you for permission to solve problems, they are enabled to solve problems on their own. This increase in productivity alone is estimated at more than $175 billion annually.
Here’s the impact of engagement and empowerment on an organization according to Gallup Research:
Current employees’ engagement influences the quality of potential job candidates — 71% of employees use or have used referrals from an organization’s current employees to learn about job opportunities.
Employees who strongly agree they have had conversations with their manager in the last six months about their goals and successes are 2.8 times more likely than other employees to be engaged.
Work units in the top quartile of engagement see 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability than those in the bottom quartile.
Engagement helps to decrease turnover — 37% of engaged employees are looking for a new job, compared with 73% of actively disengaged employees — and ensure that if employees do leave, they exit with positive experiences to share as they work elsewhere.
It’s about culture – not the one put up on a poster in the office – culture is what you Enact, Encourage and Enable. If you Enact culture as a statement and do not follow it, it is wasted ink. If you Encourage culture and do not follow it, employees become disengaged – the exact opposite of what you really want. And if you Enable a culture that includes negative behaviors, you are going to get a culture of negativity.
Employees want growth – personal and professional growth.
Employees want a company with a purpose other than simply making money. Employees want to BUILD something and DO something they can be proud of. A culture of growth is best delivered by building culture around a Growth Mindset.
A culture that is based on outcomes, “We will be a $200MM company by 2022” does not provide employees with the clarity of what is expected of them in order to get to $200MM nor an envisioned future for them in the organization. They know the organization will rake in revenues and profits but how that is done is unclear.
A culture that is based on behaviors and attitudes sets expectations for performance: “We will be opportunistic in markets to aggressively grow to $200MM by 2022” Opportunistic – it’s an attitude from the Growth Mindset.
The culture for the business also needs to have a “soul” so a culture that is “We will support United Way as a premium donor” is not nearly as clear as “We are committed to improving literacy of children in our communities by being generous with our time, talent and treasure to support reading.” Time Talent and Treasure – that is one of the habits, Giving, of the Growth Mindset.
Here’s why the Growth Mindset builds a superior culture that is durable, aggressive, empowering and engaging:
Grateful – employees who are grateful are FAR more productive than others who are not. Grateful employees are ENGAGED and engaged employees are in the top quartile of employees and outperform unengaged employees with fewer defects, fewer safety issues, higher customer loyalty, lower turnover, lower hiring cost, and higher productivity.
Giving – employees who are generous with their time, talent and treasure are INVOLVED in their organizations and outside of the organizations and aligned to company values.
Passionate – employees who are passionate are EMPOWERED to work beyond expectations and build deep skills in their function and that directly drives higher performance and productivity. Passionate employees are highly engaged and empowered by the organization and can exceed expectations by more than 42%
Inspiring – the power of the Growth Mindset as a culture is that inspires others to up their game. The Grateful, Giving and Passionate employees reduced cost to hire because employees SEEK YOU OUT. The refer at a higher rate and stay for a longer tenure.
Connected – employees who are disengaged are also disconnected. They do not necessarily care about others in the organization, they do their work and they are done for the day on time every day. No additional work. Connected employees are highly engaged and empowered and build networks across the organization to drive performance in their unit and from other units.
Accountable – employees who are engaged and empowered are quick to assume accountability for their work. They are passionate about their work and exceptionally proud of it and work diligently to be error free and own mistakes. They are confident that minor mistakes are nothing more than learning experiences that they use to build better systems so mistakes do not occur again. They hid nothing. And own everything.
Opportunistic – employees who are highly engaged and empowered have been given a framework of performance, goals they need to meet or beat and standards to keep or exceed. But they are not micromanaged and because they are accountable for their work, they are willing to take risks on new solutions, new segments, new systems and processes to move the business forward. Opportunism for them is about advancing the organization – not themselves – but the organization. By doing so, they know the light will shine on them and they self-actualize that they are high performers and proud of their accomplishments.
So if you want to stop driving good employees away, build a culture of growth with a strong work ethic using the Growth Mindset that creates a shared excitement in organizations and a focus on Performance, Engagement and Influence. Build that, and good employees will stay and good employees will come and your revenues, profits and productivity will soar.
What do you think?