At 10Eighty, we are all about building and maintaining good relationships at work. McKinsey, the management consultants point out: when it comes to employee happiness, bosses and supervisors play a bigger role than one might guess. Relationships with management are the top factor in employees’ job satisfaction, which in turn is the second most important determinant of employees’ overall well-being.
Some of the world’s most admired companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage. Engagement is all about the manager: the manager who listens, who cares, develops and stretches the employee. Smart companies nurture a culture and environment where talent can flourish and fulfil their potential.
Gallup believe that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Disengaged employees damage your company; not only are they unhappy at work, but they act out that unhappiness – they monopolise managers’ time and drive away customers.
Engage for success
Sadly, research shows that most people find their managers to be far from ideal; for example, in a recent survey, 75% of survey participants said that the most stressful aspect of their job was their immediate boss. Those describing very bad and quite bad relationships with management reported substantially lower job satisfaction than those with very good and quite good relationships.
At 10Eighty, we believe that managers need to be able to build empathy and understanding of the different needs and interests of their team members, thereby enabling the creation of an employment experience personalised for each employee, sensitive to their skills, values and aspirations. If we truly believe that our people are our greatest asset, then we should reflect that with HR strategies and processes that make improving employee engagement an organisational priority.
We know that a good manager enables a sense of trust and confidence, with clear attainable goals based in customer-centred thinking. In such an environment, workers feel empowered and often receive positive feedback from customers and colleagues. They are also more likely to raise issues when things do not go well.
Enable and empower
It’s important to provide a safe and collaborative environment for joint problem solving which promotes innovation, a sense of achievement, and even higher levels of customer satisfaction. This is not just fuzzy HR speak; treating your employees well by engaging their commitment and empowering them to fulfil their potential benefits the organisation. It’s a win-win situation as more loyal customers, lower absenteeism, and low staff turnover result in higher profitability, which affords management more options to allocate more resources to their workers.
Studies show the very real link between employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability. McKinsey point out that: a large-scale meta-analysis found that business units with top-quartile employee engagement achieved operating-profit margins that were one to four percentage points higher than those in the bottom quartile. Employee satisfaction has also been shown to contribute directly to shareholder value.
These are difficult times for all of us, for key workers especially, but also for those making the adjustment to home working or currently on furlough. Finding ways to help employees feel safe, valued and engaged is key to success for the future.