NOW is the Time to Invest in EmployeesArticle by Lisa Anderson, January 22, 2020
Are you investing in your employees? If you have employees who want to do a good job but who don’t have the tools and skills to accomplish this goal, you’ll end up with frustrated employees who are not engaged. What percentage of your employees do you think are in this position? In our client experience, 70% of employees fall in this category!
Frustrated and not actively engaged employees do not deliver results. Not only are you wasting incredible talent, but you have unhappy employees to boot. There are countless statistics that tell us the dramatic impact of unhappy employees. According to a SHRM article, highly engaged employees were 5 times less likely to have a safety incident. In a separate example, increased employee engagement at Caterpillar saved the company millions in decreased attrition, absenteeism and overtime. It is certainly noteworthy!
According to our featured interview with the EVP of Operations at Fender Guitar, investing in employees in all seasons is key to success. Listen to our interview and how many of the core takeaways relate to investing in employees. It should give us pause to re-think our focus on all sorts of programs that don’t seem to deliver results. Instead, we should focus on our employees.
So, what are some ways we can invest in employees? Here are a few we’ve seen to deliver exceptional value:
- Gratitude – A simple thank you can go a long way!
- Specific feedback – Although all managers seem to fear providing feedback, the best employees value constructive feedback as well as genuine and specific positive feedback.
- Assign a mentor – This can bring meaningful and profound change and results. People learn by watching examples and trying new ideas with immediate feedback. That is what mentoring is all about when done well!
- Training programs – Building skills and gaining fundamental concepts are the essential building blocks of success. For example, for supply chain and operations professionals, the Association for Supply Chain Management’s APICS certificiations are best in class.
- Special programs for the “best of the best” – Instead of investing in our under performing employees by default, why not take the proactive approach and put together a special program with special experiences and training opportunities for your stars?
- Opportunities to try new approaches – One of the most important pieces to invest in employees is to allow employees to try new ideas. We must expect failure in our quest for success. Thus, it will require an investment of time, resources and potentially resolving the consequences of failures along the way.
- Celebrate success – Lastly, we should celebrate progress and success. As obvious as this seems, it isn’t commonplace.
Investing in employees is the best way to future-proof your manufacturing and supply chain. In fact, it is also the best way to future-proof your technology road map. Perhaps it is time to re-think your approach to investing in employees AND automation. These are not separate concepts as robots and autonomous vehicles will not work separately from human capital and talent. The most successful executives understand that the secret to success is how to invest strategically into both.
If you’d like an assessment of where you should invest (time, resources, money) to maximize your employee engagement and your business value, contact us if you’d like to assess your situation.