What does that look like? We don’t always give team engagement enough thought until things are most definitely not at their best with the employees and company finances.
Some indicators and the impact of high business team engagement are:
- high staff retention rate
- high staff attraction rate
- employees are highly motivated
- high rate of client satisfaction
- high rate of client retention
- high positive public
These metrics are all so interconnected. Employees may say “I would recommend this as a great place to work, I am proud to work for this company”. What a cycle this is for new employee attraction and reflective of the employee retention rate. This has a strong correlation to the high rate of client satisfaction and client retention. When employees are happy and engaged, they have a higher rate of connection with clients. This connection between employees and clients builds trust and respect. In turn, the clients have more trust in the services and the products, in the organization. This cycles back into the employees and their motivation. Employees are motivated by connection with clients, with happy and trusting clients. All these factors play into our positive public image, which drives financial returns.
That sounds like a very good picture we have painted for employees and for the business. I would love to work in an organization that had such high employee engagement and therefore such a great work culture. And business has strong incentives to want this as well, high team engagement results in a 21% increase in profitability, a 59 percent decrease in employee turnover, and a 41 % decrease in absenteeism. Sounds like money to me!
So now we flip this and see what the indicators and the impact of low business team engagement are:
- high staff turnover
- employees feel unappreciated, may hear ‘that’s not my job”
- low morale, camaraderie
- low rate of client satisfaction and referrals
- low rate of clients’ trust in employees, services, products, organization
- low rate of client retention (return clients)
- negative public image
This lack of camaraderie, respect, and trust is continuing the cycle of high staff turnover, short staffing, and therefore lack of connection with clients. This creates disconnects in service to our clients and their satisfaction, the client retention rate and sales amount are diminished. This is not a soft skill; this is a necessary focus for our business’s financial success. Does this picture of low team engagement sound familiar to you?
Now, what do we do about it? We can spend a lot of time blaming, not accepting our role in the solution. That isn’t going to get us very far. So let us look with curiosity.
First, we find out where the gaps are. We cannot fix what isn’t measured and focused on. When we don’t address the lack of psychological safety for the employees, they will not share ways to improve things, there will be no open communication, no trust, no autonomy, no ownership of their role.
We know that team engagement is a result of team culture. So, if your team engagement is poor, your culture is poor.
We want to start challenging the set habits, behaviors, and methods that are reinforcing sometimes subtly this poor culture, ‘poisoning’ recruits and established employees to continue the non-productive work environment. To change the culture, you must take action to change the behavior. Accountability! Yup time to walk the talk.
Team-building training events won’t result in long-term sustainable change, they have a temporary impact due to a lack of follow-up. Firing the problem people and leaving the culture intact will just ‘poison’ the next person. Fix the foundation, improve the culture. Team coaching is a viable change process, not an event, as it includes the discovery of the resistance, biases, and assumptions that are creating barriers to sustainable change. With team coaching, there are ongoing action steps and a learning cycle that changes behavior over time. Team coaching transfers what we know, how to implement it. It gives space to practice the required skills and close the gaps unique to your team. No webinar or one-day ax-throwing event is going to do that.
The team accomplishes more than individuals. Teams exist to produce results so let us do the foundational work and make things better, for ourselves and our businesses.
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