As I have mentioned before, it is well publicised that employee engagement is a very real challenge for most businesses here in Australia. Engagement is low with only 24% of employees (according to a Gallup survey) actively engaged. The vast majority, 60% are disengaged and an alarming 16% actively disengaged. This result is awful, disengaged staff provides ordinary service, are challenging to manage, have an eye on the job column and don’t help with team spirit and harmony.
I am passionate about helping leaders to better engage their teams, therefore improving all of the areas I have just mentioned. Retail is a critical point and a disengaged team will not help you to retain and grow your customer base.
I thought it was well worth sharing a recent article from three of Facebook’s senior HR managers and a Wharton professor who the team from Facebook engaged for in-depth analysis. Their findings were very interesting and I think, can be applied to all of us.
Facebooks rationale for investing in the research, via a number of years of surveys, was quite simple. “If one buzzword has dominated management speak lately, it’s employee engagement. Satisfaction isn’t enough. We want people to bring their full attention, energy, and effort to work. We know that engaged employees perform better—and that their business units are more productive, more profitable, and less accident-prone.”
Lots of positive reasons to invest time and money in finding out what motivates and energises your people I would suggest. Motivated and engaged employees also stay longer and inspire others to perform, along with numerous other positive outcomes.
What did Facebook uncover? The single most important driver of engagement at Facebook is pride in the company. When people feel proud to work there they are more satisfied, more committed, more successful, and more likely to recommend Facebook as a great place to work. Management researchers find that when people take pride in their companies, they internalise organisational goals as their own. Instead of focusing on their individual goals, they direct their energy toward doing what’s best for the organization.
Pretty powerful stuff. Facebook even went further and identified three key factors that predicted pride:
- Optimism: How much do people believe in the company’s future?
- Mission: How much do people care about the company’s vision and goals?
- Social good: How confident are people that the company is making the world a better place?
Facebook found “These three factors drove pride across every function in the company—they mattered for people in technology, marketing and sales, and business roles. More than half of people’s feelings of pride in the company can be traced back to their feelings six months earlier about optimism, mission, and social good.”
So how could you apply these three factors in your retail environment? Here are my thoughts.
- Optimism – most retailers are going to be around for quite a few years to come, so it’s important your team knows they are safe and secure, providing they are willing to step up and add value every single day.
- Mission – I have mentioned this before a number of times. First, you have to have one and it needs to be exciting and inspirational for the team. It needs to be shared and employee buy-in is essential.
- Social good – Now you are probably thinking, it’s easy for Facebook to change the world etc, what can we do? Describe how your business is helping people out, making their day with friendly service and a great coffee, helping them feel good with clothes they are purchasing etc. I’m sure there are many other ideas of how your business is making a difference.
All of the above takes great leadership. We all know we can’t run our business on our own, we need our people to be there and great leadership will ensure they are motivated and energised.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.