A company owner asks employees what he can do to make their work easier. The employees come up with the idea of providing mobile hotspots for employees who spend a lot of their time traveling. The owner, who is grateful to the team and what they do for the company, does the research and gets a cost for the hotspots and mentions it during their weekly huddle. The employees speak up and decline the hotspots saying it cost the company too much money and wasn’t worth the investment, but they thank the owner for being willing to support them.
Another company is projecting a small profit loss for the month. Over the next week, one employee offers to do extra work preventing them from having to outsource a job. Another employee calls the company’s printer vendor and renegotiates their contract without losing any services. Still another employee digs into a software subscription and determines that they have two extra licenses they don’t use anymore. The three employees all act without direction from management and save the company a few thousand dollars. The company finishes the month with a profit.
A manufacturing company conducts a survey of employees and discovers that one of the biggest complaints of the workers is rework (work that must be redone for quality reasons). The employees create a team that works with management to measure the financial impact of the rework and discover that it is costing their company $50K per year. The employee-led team meets regularly to discover the top causes of rework and implements a series of improvements designed to reduce the rework. They track the amount of rework as they go and post the rework on a large scoreboard for everyone to see with the goal of reducing it by 50%. After 3 months, the team has managed to reduce rework by 95% saving the company $48K per year. Management purchases the team nice jackets to celebrate and in accepting the jacket, the team leader breaks down crying as he talks about what the team accomplished together.
When I tell stories like this, business owners sometimes ask me, “where do I find employees like that?”. My answer is always the same.
“They probably already work for you.”
The best way to earn employee engagement is to engage your employees and one of the most effective ways of doing this is what all 3 of these companies did; they implemented The Great Game of Business. We work with companies to employ systems that build a high-performance culture where employees can be empowered and aligned and the Game has been a powerful system for our clients and for our own company. The first story above comes from People Centric.
You probably have the right people working for you, but if you feel like you don’t, it might be because you are lacking systems to engage your people to help them to help themselves (and you) to be successful. Teach your people the language of business: your financials. Then give them opportunities to make an impact. It may not give you one big idea, but it will reward you with a bunch of little ideas that make a big impact and bring your team the opportunity to feel more pride in what they do.
Looking for more on how to increase employee engagement? Join us for our next workshop focusing on Implementation + Strategic Planning.
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