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Growth Through People: Leading change

Valuing You

Every dis-engaged employee costs you over 1/3 of their salary!

If their annual salary bill equates to £1,000,000 then this could be costing you approximately £333,000.

You’ll recognise them, they are the people who:

Deliver lower quality outputs
Deliver a poor customer experience
Have 2.4 times more days of sick sickness
Are resistant to change
Are late for work/meetings
Drain the enthusiasm from their team (often referred to as “mood hoovers”)
Create a toxic atmosphere for their fellow co-workers
Blame others for their own inadequacies…….

So how much are dis-engaged staff really costing you? In addition to cost of sickness, these will be the hidden costs in terms of managing customer complaints, quality control, recruitment, time lost while waiting for late arrivals into a meeting etc.

In 2013, Gallup reported that 26% of the UK workforce are actively disengaged. This is the highest level of disengaged employees in G7 Countries and has changed little since then. Those who are engaged are your staff who are emotionally attached, will go above and beyond the call of duty to do their job and do it well. They are more likely to be innovative and prepared to constructively challenge the norm to add value.

When we are called in to help there are always, two key things missing. These are Leadership and Communication. So let’s consider each of these.

Leadership requires leaders who inspire and motivate their employees.

These leaders provide:

• Clear direction – great leaders have a vision that is memorable. A vision that creates clarity for everyone in the workplace and is understood by all who work for them. A clear vision underpins every decision made in the business, including those tough ones.

• Brand – great leaders develop a brand, with clearly defined values that drive behaviours. A brand that is threaded through everything they do from employee experience to customer experience.
A brand is not a well crafted logo in isolation.

• Expectations – great leaders are clear about what is expected in terms of both tasks and behaviours. Where every member of staff understands how their role contributes to achieving the vision. They know what they have to do and how they are expected to behave.

• Lead by example – great leaders know that whatever they say or do, others will follow. Great leaders live the brand. They understand that their staff often have the answers. They involve staff at all levels to develop solutions.

Communication – communication can be a cancer or catalyst. Too little communication and staff create their own version of reality. A version that is often much worse than the reality itself. The energy and time that is consumed by those guessing what might be happening can create a toxic environment, where it is difficult to differentiate between what’s the truth and what’s not.

For communication to be a catalyst, staff are provided with regular strategic updates, ideally face to face. They have the opportunity to ask questions (that are not perceived to career limiting by those asking) to seek clarification and understand how the change may impact on them. They are asked for their opinions, their suggestions and ideally are involved in developing solutions.

Courageous leaders involve saboteurs. They identify those vocal sceptics who can influence their peer group and involve them by giving them a voice. Through involvement saboteurs are likely to become engaged.

An authentic thank you for a job well done, recognition of someone who has delivered results, goes a long way to build employee engagement.

Great communication is not reliant on email, the internet/ intranet, social media or sharing bad news on a Friday.