The questions now being asked by business leaders around the world are very similar. How can we succeed now and into the future? How can we future proof our business? Changes within the marketplace as well as the competitive environment are occurring more rapidly than ever before. As an organization, how do we survive? Better yet, how can we thrive in this environment?
Why are these questions and the answers to them so vitally important? Because without them…businesses that are currently thriving will cease to do so. In some cases, those same businesses will even cease to exist.
“For the first time on record, business deaths now outpace business.” – Brookings Institute
In order to have positive answers for the aforementioned questions, an organization must create a sustainable competitive advantage. So, what constitutes a sustainable competitive advantage? For this discussion, let’s use the definition below.
Sustainable Competitive Advantages: are company assets, attributes, or abilities that are difficult to duplicate/exceed; & provide a superior/favorable long-term position over competitors. – Google
This applies to all industries. Assuming this to be true, then what is the one thing that we can do regardless of our professional field that will yield this result? The answer is to have an engaged workforce and that starts with our people. The common denominator in businesses, regardless of industry, is people. No matter what professional field we are in, at the end of the day, we are all in the people business!
“We are not in the coffee business serving people, we are in the people business serving coffee.” – Howard Schultz, Former CEO of Starbucks
That being said, employee engagement is the key. There has been and continues to be so much dialogue surrounding employee engagement, that its true meaning gets lost in the shuffle. What is it? We must get to the heart of it to truly understand it. When you distill it all down, I believe employee engagement boils down to the following definition.
Employee Engagement is a measure of how much employees care. How much they care about their job. How much they care about their team. How much they care about the people that they work with. How much they care about the organization they represent. How much they care about the product(s) they produce. Ultimately, how much they care about the clients that they serve. – Dr. Charlie Cartwright
If we can create a more highly engaged workforce than our competitors…that is a sustainable competitive advantage! The beauty is that it is completely within our control as leaders. We just need the right tools in order to get the job done. Currently, this represents a very real business challenge in the United States. However, this is a worldwide business challenge and therefore a global opportunity! Businesses that seize this opportunity will not only survive, they will thrive!
According to Gallup: only 33% of the American Workforce is engaged. This is the group that really cares and drives your organization forward. 51% are not engaged. This group shows up to work and puts in time, but not real energy or passion into their work. Essentially, they are just going through the motions. Doing exactly what they are told to do and no more. 16% are actively disengaged. This group is not just unhappy at work, but they are making sure that everybody knows it! Their behaviors are actually hurting the organizations that they work for. Gallup estimates that this costs the U.S. economy approximately half a trillion dollars each year!
What will an engaged workforce do for your business? That is a great question! The rewards are many! The list below provides a window from which you can glimpse into your future should you choose to follow the path to employee engagement.
- Increases in:
- Employee Retention
- Ability to Attract Talent
- Wellness Program Participation
- Decreases in:
- Workers’ Compensation Costs
- Unwanted Turnover
- Unscheduled Absence
These are all very desirable outcomes as well as achievable and sustainable!
We have covered why employee engagement is important. What it is and what it will do for your business. Now that you have a foundational understanding of the above, the burning question in your mind is how do we achieve it?
I have spent the last 40 years learning how to do just that. I help businesses create engaged workforces. I have developed a sustainable, duplicatable system based on essential principles. My system will take your organization to the next level and beyond. It has a proven track record and is supported by decades of scientific research. The data derived from this research provides a clear path to business success in the 21st Century. Please reach out and contact us if you want to learn more.
“In God we trust, all others must bring data. If you do not have data, then you are just another person with an opinion.” – Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Father of the Quality Evolution