Keep your star staff happy
This article first appeared on 11 September, 2009
Not quite six days, but this week I've been in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne then home to Sydney, last week Hobart and next week I go to Adelaide - lots of people wanting to hear about employee engagement.
It is a happy message that I share, people are left knowing that a few simple things will make a massive difference to them in their businesses.
One CEO on my travels announced: "Recognition is the cheapest way I know to deliver on the plan."
I presented to a group of CFO's. I shared that Gallup stated: "If you improve employee satisfaction by 20% - then on average organisations get a 42% improvement to the bottom line." One CFO commented: "Well that seems a no brainer."
So why is it that only 36% of Australian organisations have a formal reward and recognition program then?
There is a mood of optimism around the country. Though there is a sense of foreboding for many HR practitioners - "We've had a year of relative stability in employment and there was more great talent around, this is about to come to a screaming halt."
One statistic being bandied around is that more than 50% of employees have waited until the downturn was over and are planning to leave their present employer within the next 12 months. This is scary.
Over the past 18 months employers have been asking for discretionary effort from their teams - some people have given it, some have been acknowledged for it. But those who are not recognising their people are about to be caught up in a mass exodus.
According to Hays Consulting, 70% of employee engagement is determined by the person's immediate manager. (We know that a third of people leave an organisation because of their direct manager) so that is another 40% who are hanging around not engaged and unproductive.
I cannot stress enough the urgency to act now. We are about to have a massive long-term talent shortage. Look after, love and notice the contribution of those who do work with you and there is a chance that you will be able to improve your efficiencies, your competitiveness and your profitability, and keep your number one asset - the team.
If you already have a recognition program, are you keeping it fresh, exciting and interesting? Is it the tool to deliver authentic acknowledgement? Is the program delivering the commercial returns?
I'm so pleased that people around the country are interested in the RedBalloon employee engagement story - and this rejuvenated interest is coinciding with peoples optimistic economic views.
Get the people thing right and we will have long-term commercial returns - and really be living in the lucky country.
Naomi Simson is the 2008 National Telstra Women's Business Award winner for Innovation. Naomi was also a finalist for the Australian HR Awards and a finalist for the BRW Most Admired Business Owner Award in 2008. Also in 2008 RedBalloon achieved a 97% Hewitt employee engagement score. One of Australia's outstanding female entrepreneurs, Naomi regularly entertains as a professional speaker inspiring middle to high-level leaders on employer branding, engagement and reward and recognition. Naomi writes a blog and has written a book sharing the lessons from her first five years.