“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.” –Warren G. Bennis
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it costs about a third of an employee’s salary to replace them. Other studies, though, have shown that, depending on the industry and the seniority of the employee, that figure can go up to as much as 250 percent.
When you read these figures, it’s easy to understand why it makes sense for companies with remote departments or branches to invest in a corporate relocation program.
But with the disruption that is unavoidable during a relocation, is it possible to keep employees engaged and motivated throughout the process? It might not be as difficult as you think…
More than 100 studies have found that the most engaged employees — those who say they’re fully committed in their jobs and loyal to their employers — are significantly more productive. These employees are also the catalysts for higher customer satisfaction, and they invariably outperform their peers who are less engaged.
Additionally, a recent study showed that employee engagement and a company’s financial performance are connected: companies with high levels of employee engagement outperformed the stock market in 2010.
So, of course it makes sense that most companies want enthusiastic, engaged employees. But few companies seem to know how to inspire their employees to that goal. In fact, in many companies, there seems to be an enormous disconnection between how the company views and promotes “engagement”, and what employees feel motivates and inspires them.
Many engagement programs rely on what’s known in marketing circles as “push persuasion”. These programs use pre-determined concepts of what the customer (in this case, the employees) find engaging, and design the program around those concepts.
The concepts are often developed through the use of mind-numbingly long surveys which are focused on what the company imagines should be important to employees. Unfortunately, most of these surveys miss the mark by a mile.
But what if you designed an engagement program using “pull persuasion”?
In “pull persuasion”, the program would be designed by starting at the opposite end of the “push persuasion” funnel: that is, starting from the perspective of the employee, not the company.
It’s an idea that has been used very successfully by companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Zappos to create an experience that is meaningful for their customers (the “users”), while providing valuable insights and passionate, long-lasting customer loyalty to the companies.
Their customers stay longer, spend more, and recommend the company to their friends. Customers also are less quick to go public with their complaints, more willing to work with the company to find a solution for problems, and they contribute ideas for improvement because they believe the company values their feedback.
So, if you applied that same methodology to building employee engagement, what would you do differently? How would it feel to “pull” instead of “push” towards an energized, engaged workforce?