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Problem Solved: 6 Steps to Improving Employee Engagement and Alignment

Reducing waste and improving the effectiveness of your staff investment could result in added revenues, lower costs and an improvement in your bottom line.

GettyImages-530727747-compressorAs the CEO, you’re probably well aware of your employee attrition and retention rates. But are you aware of your employee’s engagement and alignment rates? Payroll is the largest cost item for most businesses. If you could reduce the “waste” and improve the “effectiveness” of your investment in staff, imagine the financial leverage—the additional revenues that could be added, the costs that could be eliminated and the improvement in your bottom line.

The challenges associated with retaining your best employees is growing more acute as baby boomers retire, and more and more companies struggle to recruit talented millennials—and try to figure out how to keep the millennials they do hire interested, focused, satisfied, challenged and productive.

You’ve probably heard that employees today want more out of their job and career than a paycheck. They’re looking for a cultural fit. They want to know that their voice matters and they need to be able to see the benefits of their labor. Finally, they want to work at a company that prioritizes social responsibility and one where they feel they are contributing value to a cause greater than the bottom line.

One company benefiting from achieving these goals is Best Buy. At this big-box store, higher employee engagement scores have led to better store performance. The company found that for every 10th of a point increase in employee engagement, its stores saw a $100,000 increase in operating income annually.

“For every 10th of a point increase in employee engagement, Best Buy stores saw a $100,000 increase in operating income annually.

Upping your retention strategy game through engagement
Achieving your employee retention goals comes down to one thing: you’ve got to get them engaged. According to Gallup, companies with a highly engaged workforce achieve 2.5 times the revenue growth of those with less-engaged employees.

These 6 steps will help you improve employee engagement and alignment efforts:
1. Create a social purpose for your company (e.g., GE’s mission isn’t to deliver >12% return on capital, it’s to “build, move, power and cure the world”).
2. Build a committed senior team that can model the behaviors your company values (Senior executives need to walk the talk)
3. Drive alignment with clear goals and objectives for the company, for each team and for individuals
4. Track and measure employee results against goals to ensure alignment. (Being busy isn’t enough. People need to own their results and contributions).
5. Find ways to connect people to the mission. (One manufacturer of ingredients used in pharma products has a client executive each month come to his company and explain to his staff the lives that their medicines are saving and how they contribute to these outcomes).
6. Create team and individual incentives to foster alignment and motivate people to achieve goals (public recognition and small gifts of appreciation like a pizza party or card can be more powerful than a large cash bonus a year later).

Understanding the employee engagement strategies other CEOs have found successful can help leaders improve their own company’s engagement programs.

For more detail on these 6 tips, as well as additional information on how other manufacturing CEOs are improving their employee alignment and engagement, you can download the complimentary white paper from Chief Executive Network by clicking here.

Source: Chief Executive Network’s Improving Employee Engagement and Alignment Report, which is part of their Manufacturing CEO Agenda 2017 Series. Chief Executive Network (CEN) is the leading peer network for Manufacturing CEOs where can get unbiased feedback, benchmarks and advice on the key challenges and opportunities they face from peer CEOs who have been down that road before and are willing to share their hard fought lessons learned. For more information about Chief Executive Network, click here.

About Wayne Cooper

Wayne Cooper is Executive Chairman of Chief Executive Group.