Engaging and Retaining Vital Talent
If you train them, they will stay.
It should be of no surprise that a happy employee is a good employee. Taking the time to invest in your employees will ensure dedicated and motivated employees. In the 2012 survey conducted by Gallup Employee Engagement Index just 24% manufacturing or production worker felt engaged last year, which was last amongst 12 other occupational titles. Regardless of the size of a company, engaged employees are 70% more productive*. A disengaged employee may be a disgruntled employee, whom has the potential to disrupt the culture and progress.
The good news is there are practical solutions to ensure employees feel engaged and therefore more productive and committed to the company and vision.
The reason people stay engaged and are more productive is because they like the work they do. The reason people leave is because there is no opportunity for growth or advancement. “The only real competitive advantage a company has is the unique brains that walk in the door every morning, said Donna Butchko, President, Leadership Systems & DVIRC strategic partner responsible for organization learning and development.Yet, because we fail to engage them, most of their ideas walk out that door at night still untapped,” she added.
Employees need to be engaged through their head and their heart.
Engaging the “head” – if employees cannot contribute because they lack skills, information or control, they will disengage. Provide training to develop new skills. This is an easy investment with great rewards for both staff and company. Provide information, establish regular communications so staff are aligned and feel connected. Solicit employee input. This gesture will not just be appreciated, but different perspectives can be extremely valuable to the organization. Finally, provide decision-making discretion as even small decisions will empower and engage staff.
Engaging the “heart” – the signs of a miserable job are, anonymity, irrelevance, and immeasurement. These signs sound obvious, and easy to rectify, but many firms do not make simple adjustments.
Anonymity – acknowledge individuals, finding simple ways to do this can be as easy as recognizing an employee of the month. Take time to let individuals know you are interested and care about them. This can also be as simple as taking an employee to lunch every month, and actively listening to their ideas.
Irrelevance – individuals need to know what they do has an impact on the business, and it matters that they do their job well.
Immeasurement – employees need to know they contributed, or achieved success. Construct simple goals and visual boards that display results. Add stretch goals that generate clear bonuses and recognition.
At DVIRC we are dedicated to providing a full range of training and education support services for manufacturers of all sizes. From open workshops and certifications, to custom on-site training, we offer programs for individual, management, leadership and organizational learning and development.
By investing in your talent, you increase the performance of your organization, but more importantly your human assets are engaged and a vital competitive advantage.
*Karin Linder, “Employee Engagement: More than a Buzzword,” Food Manufacturing, January 5, 2010