By: Maurice Gilbert
“Take care of your staff,” or some variant thereof, is a popular refrain among HR consultancies because of the unquestionable importance of employee engagement. This concept gets the attention it does because it is so closely linked to retention and productivity. Homing in on productivity in particular, it’s easy to recognize how vital an engaged workforce is when you consider this statistic: it’s been reported that the cost of lost productivity due to a disengaged workforce is $370 BILLION. ANNUALLY. In the U.S. ALONE.
Obviously we’re not talking chump change here, but the solutions to grand problems don’t necessarily have to be in sweeping reform. Managers at every level have immediate impact on the satisfaction of their direct reports, and one easy way to improve engagement can be in simply showing greater appreciation to the workforce.
SHRM and Globoforce conducted a survey in 2013, asking more than 800 HR professionals, “In your professional opinion, which of the following items have the most impact on employee engagement at your organization?”
|Appreciation by direct supervisor||71 percent|
|Opportunity to advance||41 percent|
|Salary and bonus||36 percent|
|Ability to be effective in one’s job||35 percent|
|Company’s care for employees’ well-being||30 percent|
|Confidence in executive leadership||29 percent|
|Relationship with peers||22 percent|
|Belief in company’s mission||18 percent|
|Appreciation by peers||11 percent|
|Job title||4 percent|
Nearly three-quarters of those polled pegged appreciation by a direct supervisor as the leading factor in an employee’s engagement and yet, according to the same survey, a mere 26 percent of employees were found to be satisfied with the level of recognition they were given for a job well done.
Now, appreciation can be handled in a number of ways. Bonuses are popular of course, but widespread recognition among one’s peers can be just as effective. It’s critical that managers not wait until annual performance reviews to praise their staff for successes throughout the year. Shower praise on your team when it’s due, and right then. Like correction, praise is best received in the moment, not months after the fact.
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Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Regulatory Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice can be reached at www.conselium.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.