There is nothing more depressing than a new employee who has become disenchanted at work! The bloom is off the rose. Reality has set in. All the hopes he or she has of making a difference are shattered. A state of semi-numbness and lack of caring is attained.
How big is this problem? What would you say the percentage is of employees disengaged at work? According to more than one Gallop Poll, the answer is an astounding 71%! What business or organization can afford to have seven out of ten workers being, at best, ambivalent? It’s a colossal waste of energy, time and talent.
Imagine giving paychecks to people who are just filling a spot, or only doing half the job. It’s money down the drain. You are paying people to show up to work and drag their feet, while appearing to be busy and productive.
But the problem isn’t just an underutilized workforce, it’s also the eroding of loyalty.
Employees are the fuel and energy of an organization. They are the best marketing tools (walking billboards) one can have. They are the people interacting with the customer every day. They reach out and touch prospects as they go about life in the community.
So, how can you increase loyalty? Loyalty has to be earned, continually. And, it’s easier than you think. People don’t want to bounce from one thing to another, but they do have to have a reason to stay, to remain passionate about the organization, its products and its vision.
If leaders (supervisors, managers, executives) will set up methods to listen, respectfully, to employee ideas, concerns, observations … with a system for giving these thoughts serious consideration … they’ll experience tremendous loyalty. And business growth!
What Does It Cost You Not To Listen?
When employees do not feel listened to, or respected as contributors, they become disengaged.
How do you think this affects their response to customers? What do you imagine is their style for working with colleagues? How do you think they do when a deadline arises, a customer needs something that will require an extra effort, or they are asked to put in longer hours?
When employees are loyal, all things are possible. If they are organizationally indifferent, customers feel it. When your customers become disenchanted, you lose their loyalty too.
Studies show that a 5% increase in customer retention typically results in a 75% growth in aggregate lifetime profits from an individual customer. So just imagine the loss of this revenue … added to the cost of employee turnover (roughly $15K each) … all due of poor employee loyalty. And this state is the result of leadership inattention to making each individual feel valued by being able to contribute to the organization’s success.
Take time to create a system that fosters listening. Develop something that enables everyone, at every level to participate in. Make it a priority. Continue to work it over time. It will pay off!