Tag Archives: productivity

At Last! A Solution to the Employee Engagement Problem

Employee engagement is extremely to the success of a business because it’s the primary driver of its financial performance.  At the same time, research by Towers Perrin and BlessingWhite point out that only 21 to 31percent of the global workforce is engaged with their work. Clearly, something is very wrong with the way businesses deal with their employees or the level of employee engagement would be much closer to 100 percent than it is.

My recent book, The Engagement Formula presents a completely new methodology for working with employees that guarantees full employee engagement. If a business organization follows this formula, 100 percent of its employees will become engaged with their work—all working at their full potential. Think of what it would mean to the success of any organization—profit or non-profit—if it could get all of its employees engaged with their work. If you’re interested in looking at it, here’s the link: http://rossreck.com/

Why the Level of Employee Engagement is Not Improving

Recent studies by major HR consulting firms have shown that the level of employee engagement is somewhere around 30 percent and it hasn’t improved in recent years. The reason that is hasn’t improved is that the overwhelming majority of businesses insist on using a management model that actually prevents employees from becoming engaged with their work. It’s often referred to a Management by the Numbers or Management by Command and Control. As Douglas McGregor, author of The Human Side of Enterprise, put it more than a half-century ago, the implicit logic to this method is “…that in order to get people to direct their efforts toward organizational objectives, management must tell them what to do, judge how well they have done, and reward or punish them accordingly.” The problem with this method is that it turns employees off–they strongly resent being told what to do, how to do it and then being judged by how well they did it by a boss or manager. When employees are turned off, they cannot become engaged with their work. This is why Management by the Numbers prevents people from becoming engaged.

As Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Continuing to use a management model that turns employees off is not going to improve the level of employee engagement. As McGregor put it, “The real need is for new theory, changed assumptions, (and) more understanding of the nature of human behavior in organizational settings.”

My new book, The Engagement Formula, presents a leadership model that incorporates new theory, changed assumptions and more understanding of the nature of human behavior in organizational settings. The model consists of three simple steps that guarantee full (100 percent) employee engagement. http://rossreck.com/

You Can’t Achieve a High Level of Employee Engagement by Paying Minimum Wage

Many business leaders today want to have it both ways: On one hand they want loyal hard working employees who are willing to do whatever it takes to make the business successful and, on the other hand, they want to pay them the least amount possible. The problem with this is that paying low wages creates distractions for employees which means they cannot give their full attention and effort to performing their jobs.  For example, if employees aren’t making enough money to support themselves, they will worry and fret over how they’re going to make ends meet which means they can’t give their full attention to performing their job.  This is why companies with a high level of employee engagement such as SAS, JetBlue, Google, NetApp and Southwest Airlines make it a point to provide their employees with compensation that is at or above their industry average and a benefit package that’s fairly generous.  They want to minimize these distractions so employees can focus on performing their jobs.  As stated on the SAS web site, “They (employees) should be freed from many of the distractions of day-to-day life, so they can focus on doing their best work.”  Similarly, Eric Schmidt, Executive Vice Chairman of Google had this to say when discussing Google’s philosophy regarding employee benefits.  “The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees’ way (of doing their best work).”

My new book, The Engagement Formula, details the role that equitable pay plays in achieving full employee engagement. For more information, please click on the following link: http://rossreck.com/

Understanding Human Motivation is the Key to Solving the Employee Engagement Problem

The fact that some people are engaged with their work while the vast majority of others aren’t tells us that employee engagement is all about all one thing— motivation. This brings up the age old question of what really motivates people. Given that thousands of books and articles that have been written on the subject of human motivation, one would think that we’d understand it much better than we do. In reality, the issue of what truly motivates people is quite simple. It’s something called self-interest—pursuing the satisfaction of needs that are important to them. Every single one of us comes into the world already programmed to pursue the satisfaction of a set of inborn needs. This how people are genetically wired—it’s part of our DNA. From birth to death, our behavior is completely defined by our pursuing the satisfaction of those needs.

This means that if you as a leader expect employees to get excited about giving all their energy, creativity and passion to performing their jobs, you have to accept the fact that they come to work already motivated to pursue their self-interest, not yours. Furthermore, no matter how hard you try or how much money you spend, you can’t change an individual’s self-interest to make it look like yours. The only thing you can do is accept it for what it is and engage it—you must find a way to connect their self-interest with the interests of the organization. This is what employee engagement is all about.

My new book, The Engagement Formula, shows you precisely how to connect employees’ self-interest with the interests of the organization.  It presents three simple steps that guarantee full employee engagement. For more information, please click on the following link: http://rossreck.com/

What We Don’t Know About Employee Engagement

We know a lot about employee engagement.  We know that it’s about getting employees excited about giving all their energy, creativity and passion to performing their jobs.  We also know that it’s the primary driver of financial performance of a business organization.  In addition, we think we know how to measure it.  Numerous consulting firms have employee surveys that are purported to measure the level of employee engagement at any particular business organization.  What we don’t know is how to create employee engagement.  This is evidenced by the fact that the level of employee engagement (world-wide) hovers around 30 and it’s not increasing.  If we knew how to make employee engagement happen, the level would be closer to 100 percent.

My new book, The Engagement Formula, solves this problem.  It presents three simple steps that guarantee full employee engagement.  If a business organization follows this formula, 100 percent of its employee will become engaged with their work–all working at their full potential. Think of what this could mean to the success of any business organization–profit or non-profit. For more information, please click on the following link: http://rossreck.com/

Douglas McGregor Concluded that a New Methodolgy for Dealing with People at Work was Needed

In 1960, Douglas McGregor concluded that a new methodology for dealing with people at work that was based on new thinking was necessary if businesses were going to succeed in tapping into the unutilized potential of their employees.  He knew the effect he wanted to achieve; he called it the Principle of Integration (today we call it employee engagement)—creating a set of conditions where employees can actually achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts to the success of the organization. In other words, the harder people work for the success of the business, the more satisfaction they experience regarding their personal needs.  This makes coming to work and working hard a “win-win” situation.  The problem, however, is that McGregor couldn’t figure out a methodology to make this happen.  This is where The Engagement Formula comes in.

In 1960, Douglas McGregor Laid the Foundation for The Engagement Formula

In 1960, Douglas McGregor laid a solid foundation for The Engagement Formula in his book, The Human Side of Enterprise.  Keep in mind, the term “employee engagement” was not in common usage at the time, but McGregor was fully aware of the low level of employee engagement that existed even then.  As he put it, “Many managers would agree that the effectiveness of their organizations would be at least doubled if they could discover how to tap into the unrealized potential present in their human resources.”   He reasoned that the traditional management model, which he referred to as management by direction and control denies individuals the opportunity to satisfy certain needs at work that are important to them.  As a result, using this management model actually prevents businesses from tapping in to the full potential of their employees.

The Reason Why Companies with a High Level of Employee Engagement Enjoy Superior Financial Results

The Engagement Formula by Dr. Ross Reck now available in Paperback and as a Kindle ebook from Amazon.com

The reason companies with high levels of employee engagement enjoy superior financial performance is they treat their employees in ways which bring out their best at work.

Their engaged employees, in turn, respond by creating a competitive edge for their company that can’t be easily copied—they’re constantly making innovative improvements to products, services and customer experiences while providing superior levels of customer service which results in loyal customers.

This means higher levels of repeat and referral business which, in turn, translates into significant increases in market share.  In addition, companies with high levels of employee engagement enjoy substantial cost savings due to reduced employee turnover, absenteeism, accidents and employee theft.