In our previous three segments of this series, we have drawn a bead on employee engagement, and the critical need to improve employee loyalty as a prerequisite to future business results.
Employee engagement is a organizational virtue while “sustainable growth” is a measurable outcome, albeit subjective to the extent that one defines what “sustainable” means and what constitutes “growth”…
If we view “sustainable” as effecting a minimum of two successive quarters (or longer), and if we define “growth” as improving top-line performance, such as net revenue increases, then the term takes on a sales metric. If the term “growth” speaks to productivity (e.g., revenue or net profit per employee, or units of production per hour or per employee, or some other operational metric) then the term becomes one of organizational performance.
Either way, there are common traits indigenous to both perspectives. Specifically, you need to have established:
- An aligned understanding of the mission, across all the levels of the organization,
- Accountability as to divisional, departmental and individual performance requirements to support the common goal,
- Agreed-upon key performance indicators (both behavioral and operational) that will mark progress toward the desired future,
- Sufficient skills and competencies upon which to build performance,
- Willingness and commitment to a defined set of objectives, incorporating goals that are defined by the individual,
- A cultural value of recognition to acknowledge and reinforce those associates who lead the way down the path to improvement, and
- Tangible and intangible rewards (non-monetary, and outside of compensation) to cement the linkage between individual and/or team achievement and public acknowledgement of contribution.
Sound impossible? Not in the slightest. The companies that do these as a matter of common practice are, not surprisingly, the same organizations that attract and retain the best talent. They are the companies that have the most loyal customers, and achieve category leadership in their space.
How do you begin to assess your own company needs in order to further or expedite progress toward your goals in 2011 and beyond? For starters, fire me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s chat. I’m not looking for business here, just an opportunity to hear about your company’s challenges, and share some thinking about how you might tackle them. Let’s talk!