Standing on the Sidelines

Have you ever watched your best athletes standing on the sideline? Maybe they’re taking a Gatorade break, going over the next play with their coach or congratulating a fellow team member on hitting a home run?

So ask yourself — are they on the sideline to recharge their batteries so they can remain engaged? Or are they sitting the game out and contemplating a move to the opposing team? As long as you’re watching from the press box you won’t know exactly what they’re doing on the sideline.

It’s time to get down on the field.

Engaged employees deliver:

  • 37% less absenteeism
  • 25% less turnover in high-turnover organizations; 49% less in low-turnover organizations
  • 60% fewer product defects
  • 16% higher profitability for top-quartile businesses than those in the bottom-quartile
  • 12% higher customer metrics

Exactly how do you know who is engaged? According to a yearly survey by Gallup, there are three types of employees:

  • Engaged – those who work with passion, enthusiasm, connectedness, innovate and find solutions
  • Non-engaged – those who watch the clock, get through the day, without energy
  • Actively disengaged – those who love to share their unhappiness and discontent, the bad apple

Who’s who? Let’s review a few post-game videos and analysis of who is on the sideline. According to a 2011 Blessing White Research Study:

  • Only 31% of employees are engaged
  • 17% are actively disengaged!  They are scouting out their next paycheck and spoiling the environment for those who are engaged

What are you going to do to keep your employees actively engaged in their jobs?

  • Increase trust and transparency– what helps them go above and beyond is their relationship with YOU
  • Provide meaningful work and communicate– the money motivator doesn’t deliver like believing what you do will make a difference and being a part of something important
  • Address generational diversity needs – Gen Y/Gen X want flexibility, the 40 year old needs health care and the Baby Boomer wants to share their knowledge and leave a legacy
  • Disband the BAND-AID solutions– company picnics, mandatory lunches or happy hours or other minor short-term gestures for a quick fix – eliminate them
  • Relationships – build them. Nurture them. They are worth your time in gold, for your customers and your profits.

Take a walk down to the field, talk to your team, get them off the sidelines, fuel their tanks and recharge their batteries – share your own “bring it on” passion!