Happy and satisfied workers create better performing businesses and produce more profitable outcomes. There’s ample evidence to support this claim, yet most workers worldwide say they are not engaged with their work.
As long as businesses ignore the connection between employee satisfaction and profitability, the disconnect continues. Perhaps, they just don’t know how to create happy and satisfied global teams.
Here’s the best scenario.
Reliable scholars, researchers, and analysts study the positive influence of contented employees on their employer’s success.
Harry Wallop, writing for Britain’s The Telegraph, reports on research at the University of Warwick that concluded, “happy people were 12 per cent more productive than ‘normal’ people.”
Steve Cooper, a contributor to Forbes, reported on studies indicating, “unsatisfied employees are 11 times more likely to move to a new organization in the next year.”
Meghan Brio, also contributing to Forbes, says, “revenues increased on an average of 22.9% for the 2014 Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. “
Sage Journals reported on a 2010 survey by James K. Harter and colleagues that concluded, “Managerial actions and practices can impact employee work conditions and employee perceptions of these conditions, thereby improving key outcomes at the organizational level.”
In their report on the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index, Harter Etal concluded, “The data indicate workplaces with engaged employees, on average, do a better job of keeping employees, satisfying customers, and being financially productive and profitable.”
And, similar comments continue across the board.
Here are the reasons.
Most of the best loved companies have common virtues:
Living Wage: If a business pays employees fairly, they will respond in kind. There has long been a social contract that expects that employers will compensate for the labor provided.
However, what constitutes “fair” is contextual varying throughout the many world cultures and even throughout regions in the same economy. In any case, surveys show companies that pay better than the competition have more satisfied employees.
Benefits:Group benefits, such as medical insurance, life insurance, and dental insurance are unheard of in many parts of the world. And, in union-dominated cultures, such benefits are perceived as entitlements.
In the U.S., group benefits are competitive metrics, employees opting, all things being equal, for the business with the better benefits. Employees measure such benefits for their economic value, not their employers’ largesse. For example, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) “researchers also found that the dollar amount employers spent on benefits is not what mattered the most. It was how well employees understood the benefits being offered.”
Perks: Employees relish innovative perks, like flex-time, childcare, work-from-home options, wellness programs, education reimbursement, workplace gyms, and the like. The most favorable work environments offer supplemental benefits they are not required to offer.
Such moves create a climate that sustains employee interest and retention. And, the Googles and Apples of the world provide the template for lively workplaces.
Security:Gallup 2014reports, “In the U.S., 58% of full- or part-time workers are completely satisfied with their job security. This represents an increase from the levels recorded during the aftermath of the Great Recession — from 2009 to 2013 — when roughly 50% of Americans said they were completely satisfied.”
SHRM 2012 research found employees listed “opportunities to use skills and abilities” as their top concern, a change over previous years at the height of the recession.
Here’s what businesses do.
Using various tactics, global businesses considered as “best loved” workplaces share certain habits:
Big picture compensation:Successful businesses show their employees just how their work impacts the success of the business. They tie compensation and benefits to achievement of those objectives.
People want to see what’s in for them. But, perception is not limited to payrates. Satisfaction arises from a perception of participation in something larger. Employers value tools like BizMerlin’s Goal Setting & Performance Review system where employees and managers can set and share short and long-term goals aligned with corporate objectives.
Employee/Manager relationship: People are social beings, and workplaces are social environments. People who work want clear and positive relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates. And, the organization’s structure should spell that out.
Still, the best environments enable a trusting and transparent climate that encourages collaboration and diversity. People respond to trust and respect; it comforts and sustains them, encouraging them to stay longer and word harder.
BixMerlin’s Optimal Allocation & Financial Management resource is the kind of tool that helps management match the right people to the right projects that optimize employee skills, growth, and longevity.
Larger world:If employees have their basic and security needs satisfied, they open to larger motives. They stay at companies where they are proud to work. It’s human to contribute and to enjoy the social feedback.
They take pride in customer satisfaction and corporate contributions to local charities and non-profits. They work harder on products and services that serve the larger community well. So, it’s smart for management to communicate how that work serves community interests.
Recognition and Reward: Smart executives hire management talent that willing and able to share credit and reward performance. From a simple wink and nod of approval to a public “Good Job” to public presentations, employee recognition shows respect and appreciation.
As Zachary Watson, CEO at HoneyCo, recommends employers “Find people who share the operational values of your organization from the outset, test for fit early, and allow growth opportunities to express that value.” And, recruiting support like you find in BizMerlin’s Hiring Automation & Smart Candidate Tracking will start that process.
Respect: According to a survey by the Best Practices Institute, “94% of respondentsreport
they are between 2 and4 times more likely toproduce more for theirorganization if they love
their workplace.” But, managers and employees need practical ways to communicate and archive the respect such as BizMerlin’s Skills Matrix where both can share who knows what and how well, identify training goals and create training plans, and set skill improvement processes.
How to create happy and satisfied global teams
For employees, satisfaction and engagement improves their character and marketability. It assures them reasonable security and compensation for their efforts.
For employers, happy and satisfied employees stay on the job reducing turnover. They work harder on more tasks, and participate willingly in their company’s success.
Businesses trying to create this culture on a global basis find benefit in recognizing their local model is not universal. They celebrate and encourage diversity, innovation, and employee growth. They communicate a transparent and collaborative culture with core values that serve community needs as well as the employees’.