By Jim Gitney
- Productivity is down over the last two years and continuing to decline
- 66% of employees feel do not feel engaged.
- 80% of strategies don’t realize their intended value.
- 60% of CEO’s don’t believe their team does a good job of implementing strategy.
These are compelling numbers that all business leaders should take note of. These numbers are worse today with the significant shift to remote work in the post pandemic workforce. Are these numbers a result of poor strategic plans? In some cases, yes, but in the majority of cases, it is result of a poor implementation and engagement processes. During my 45-year career, I have seen that poor implementation is because of a lack of focus on people and organization – the bridge between strategy and results.
As an individual, team member, or leader, we need to be led. Even CEO’s have this need. We need to know that we are part of achieving something greater. We need to know the Most Important Goal. We need to know “From What” – “To What” – “By When”. We need to know “Where to Play” and “How to Win”. We need to be part of the “HOW” and we need to know that leadership will support our efforts and recognize us for our successes. We need to be engaged and only 25% of employers believe that they have an active engagement process in place – The root cause of the statistics above.
Engaging your workforce means making them an active part of achieving your Most Important Goal by making them part of defining “HOW”. In the more than 200 Kaizen events I have led or sponsored, I have always been amazed at how much people from the stockroom to the board room are willing to commit to significant change if they are given a chance to be part of defining the “HOW”. When I was running a Black & Decker appliance factory, I did a survey and found that many people in my organization had college degrees, built race cars, programmed computers and demonstrated many other advanced skills. They all wanted to contribute more to their jobs. When we engaged them, we tripled the output of the facility in less than three years. I was able to leverage the talents I already had in the business. This is just one example of how engagement reaps rewards and every business has people who can contribute more if given the appropriate chance.
GALLUP Inc. provided numbers for my recently published book: Strategy Realized – The Business Hierarchy of Needs®. Engaging the workforce can provide up to 23% higher profitability, 18% more productivity, a 43% reduction in turnover and an 81% reduction in absenteeism. There are many more benefits from engagement including a 66% improvement in well-being. The post pandemic workforce is in more need of engagement than ever. Leaders need to focus on going after these improvements by leveraging the skills of their people through engagement.
Since 2013, Group50® Consulting, the firm I lead, has used a model called the Business Hierarchy of Needs® as a template for addressing these numbers and satisfying the needs described above. We have found that addressing the needs of the people and teams in an organization and engaging them causes the implementation of our recommended changes to be much more successful and long lasting. Our clients have realized hundreds of millions of dollars in top line and bottom-line improvements as a result. That is our model, but anyone in an organization can use it to their benefit.
The Business Hierarchy of Needs® is a change management framework that has one objective. Create a strong base guided by a Most Important Goal and direct everything the business does toward achieving it. It is amazing how just by sharing the Most Important Goal with the workforce starts the ball rolling and gets them to start thinking about how their efforts will help the company achieve it. Actively engaging them and giving them permission to be part of the “HOW” accelerates the roll. Obviously there are other things that need to be done, but getting started is the first step. For those interested in finding out more, they can go to www.strategyrealized.com to see the Business Hierarchy of Needs® framework and resources available for achieving significantly better results.