If you have, you’ve smart. As Ian Hutchinson, author of People Glue has said: “Your No. 1 customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last.”
I don’t think that customers should be your last priority, but he does have a point.
In the context of the History of Capitalism, the idea of focusing on “what employees want” is a new one.
It might seem more logical to think about what consumers want or what the shareholder want, but now more than ever, it’s the employees who decide if your company succeeds or fails.
According to Gallup, employee engagement in the U.S. is steady at around 30 percent. The low engagement level is not just an ugly number. This low level of engagement turns into a monetary loss each year and costs companies billions.
The power of engagement
Low engagement makes people quit and find new jobs, it makes them sit at their desks and daydream, and it leaves a bad impression on your customers and business partners.
At the same time, engaged workers put in more productive hours, they smile to your clients, and they won’t quit — which means you don’t have to spend a lot of money on training new talent each year.
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This is now more important than ever as unemployment numbers are down and everyone has more options when it comes to choosing where they work.
And so we can say that investing in employees is a foolproof strategy for a leader.
I’m not only thinking about offering higher salaries, but about making sure that your employees and team members are as content in their job as possible.
Do you have an edge?
This shift in values that a lot of managers haven’t been able to cope with, comes from younger people entering the workforce. And, their wants, wishes, and dreams are very different from older generations.
If your company has even a little higher engagement rate than your competitors, you already have an edge. But, you need to maximize the profits you get from it.
To see what you your employees think, check out the following infographic (left).