Managers are no longer hired to “manage” companies, they are hired to change them.
Change. It is the one common thread all people, leaders and businesses share when it comes to the pursuit of success. As widely known and accepted as this may be, it doesn’t solve the real issue, resistance. How wonderful life would be if we didn’t resist change. Imagine the possibilities. The things we could accomplish. The positive changes we could make. Most of us don’t struggle with knowing we need to change or that our businesses needs to change, we struggle with the resistance to the change itself.
The 1990’s were coined the decade of the brain because more was discovered in that 10 year period than all of history combined. 15 years later, what we understand of the human brain makes the change process easier to understand and allows us to design our work and communications accordingly.
Employee engagement, also called Work engagement, is a concept that is generally viewed as managing discretionary effort; that is, when employees have choices, they can either act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests or in a way that does not. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in and enthusiastic about his or her work. Employee Engagement is now measured by items that have been linked to key business outcomes.
Three Types of Employees
Gallup Management Journal (GMJ) surveyed U.S. employees to discover what effect employee engagement may have on team-level innovation and customer service delivery. Gallup researchers studied employee responses to several items about innovation in the workplace to see which factors differed most strongly among engaged employees (16% of respondents), those who were not engaged (69%), and those who were actively disengaged (15%) – Note that 84% of Employees are “Not-Engaged” (See graphic “The Three Types of Employees”).
Gallup research has shown that engaged employees are more productive, profitable, safer, create stronger customer relationships, and stay longer with their company than less engaged employees. This latest research indicates that workplace engagement is also a powerful factor in catalyzing “outside-the-box” thinking to improve management and business processes as well as customer service.
When GMJ researchers surveyed U.S. workers, 59% of engaged employees strongly agreed with the statement that their current job “brings out [their] most creative ideas.” On the flip side, only 3% of actively disengaged employees strongly agreed that their current job brings out their most creative ideas.
Innovation and customer service
GMJ researchers also investigated the effect of employee engagement on customer service innovation. Nearly 9 in 10 engaged employees (89%) strongly agreed that “At work, I know where to go with an idea to improve customer service,” contrasted with only 16% of actively disengaged employees.
Engaged employees also involve customers in the innovation and improvement process. When asked to rate their level of agreement with the statement “At work, we give our customers new ideas,” 74% of engaged employees strongly agreed that they shared new ideas with customers, contrasted with just 13% of actively disengaged employees.
Engagement and the customer
Gallup’s employee engagement research has consistently shown a connection between employee engagement and customer engagement. One factor that can influence customer engagement is an employee’s willingness to change — or to “learn and grow” — to meet the customers’ changing needs. When Gallup asked workers to rate the statement “I have grown in my ability to positively affect our customers,” the results were telling. Almost 9 in 10 engaged employees (85%) strongly agreed that they have grown in their ability to positively affect their company’s customers, while only 2 in 10 actively disengaged employees (19%) strongly agreed.
Finally, more than half of all engaged employees (51%) strongly agreed with the statement “At work, my coworkers always do what is right for our customers.” This was in stark contrast to the actively disengaged employees: Only 1 in 10 strongly agreed that their coworkers always do what is right for their customers.