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The Impact of Employee Engagement
As consumers, you and I are confronted daily with dramatic examples of sales-killing behaviors. In many cases, the behaviors we encounter hardly get our attention because we’ve become so accustomed to them. Experiences like one I had recently are commonplace. I was in the checkout lane of a large supermarket and asked the checker, who was, frankly, looking rather annoyed, “How’s it going?” With a scowl on his face, he replied, “Five minutes and I’m out of here.” I thought to myself, “I wonder if I should shop here if this place is so bad.”
I find it just amazing that the clerk who said, “Five minutes and I’m out of here” saw absolutely nothing inappropriate in saying this to a customer. He was utterly oblivious to the impact this statement would have on whether or not I ever shopped in this grocery store again. Alternatively, it’s quite possible that he didn’t care if I ever returned.
Contrast this behavior with that of a clerk in another grocery store. My wife, Dolores, and I were in our favorite grocery store going through the checkout lane. When the checker picked up a carton of eggs we were buying, she looked at the eggs, shook them gently and moved her fingers over the eggs to make sure they all moved and weren’t stuck to the package. She added, “I wouldn’t want you to get home with a cracked egg.”
Two retail clerks. One engaged in her work, the other not engaged. Two retail grocery chains. One near the top of its industry in sales per square foot, the other very average.
Engagement made the difference
A study of 90,000 workers in 18 countries by Towers Perrin on the impact of employee engagement states the following: “Firms with the highest percentage of engaged employees collectively increased operating income 19% and earnings per share 28% year-to-year. Companies with employees who are less engaged experienced operating income declines of 33% year-to-year and 11% in earnings.”
Further, the Towers Perrin study found that highly engaged employees believed that they could and did contribute more directly to business results than less engaged employees. 84% of highly engaged employees believed they could impact the quality of their company’s work product, compared to 31% of the disengaged. Their study also states, “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of an engaged workforce on a company’s bottom line.”
And what impact does employee engagement have on financial performance? As described in a monograph written by Dr. Gary Rhoads, Professor of Marketing at Brigham Young University, Best Buy was able to demonstrate that an increase in engagement among store employees of 0.01 on a five-point scale resulted in an annual profit increase of $100,000 for the store.
Lean drives engagement
Want to know how your company can develop a cadre of employees who are highly engaged in their work and focused on continuous improvement? We have well-tested and proven Lean training and consulting resources that can make this happen. Call me anytime at 314-303-0612 and let’s discuss. I’d very much appreciate having the opportunity to meet with you to review how we can support your drive to higher degrees of productivity and profitability.