Total Engagement:  Transforming Organizations through Employee Engagement

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    In today’s global interconnected economy, almost any company anywhere has access to the same raw materials, the same processes and the same online resources.  So what can set one competitor apart from another?  The answer: its people!  The one thing that can separate one competitor from another is highly engaged employees who bring extra effort to their work resulting in increased innovation, higher productivity and delivering better customer service.

    Additionally, what is normally the largest or second largest expense on most companies’ income statements?  It’s people cost!  Yet amazingly, corporate executives spend hours and days at a time trying to squeeze a little additional profit by increasing inventory turns, elongating their time of paying out accounts payable or finding slightly cheaper raw material, yet practically ignore making one of their most expensive investments more effective – their people.

    Over the past two decades, employees “checking out” has been a frequent topic of discussion in HR journals.  One consultant, speaker and leadership coach Rich Schlentz loves to quip, “Your Employees Have Quit – They Just Haven’t Left.”  He is referring to employees staying on the job putting in just the bare minimum effort to avoid getting fired.  An increasing number of US employees are dissatisfied with their jobs and plan to look for a new job each time the economy is on an upswing.  With this kind of mindset, these employees are far from peak productivity.

    This leads us into the discussion around employee engagement.  Engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and it goals, often resulting in willingness to volunteer discretionary effort.

    In a recent presentation to a local HR networking group I attend, Rich Schlentz, Founder and Chief Enthusiasm Officer at EXTRAordinary! Inc. provided some very compelling statistics and why employee engagement is so critical to business success:
    • Engaged employees average 27% less absenteeism than those who are disengaged.
    • Workgroups with lower engagement average 62% more accidents.
    • Higher levels of team engagement equate to 12% higher customer satisfaction score.
    • Engaged teams average 18% higher productivity and 12% higher profitability.

    Employee productivity, which can lead to organizational success and a renewed economy, is at its maximum when employees are truly passionately engaged. The results we should be aiming for in terms of passionate employees are people who are empowered, entrepreneurial, authentic and leaders.

    Unfortunately, the continued (and often exclusive) emphasis on short term earnings and current quarter results often and easily spreads into decisions around employee management and investment. The short term view of employees is that they are temporary resources that we engage to deliver a certain defined service. When that service is no longer needed, the employee is expendable. Employees are viewed as short term transactions.  Instead, leaders need to view their employees as a long term investment to engage in such a way they offer their very best to the organization.

    What are various ways corporate leaders can increase the engagement of their employees?

    • Help every employee understand how their specific role has an impact on achieving the organization’s mission and goals.  When an employee understands that their job is important, critical and valued, they gain a sense of fulfilment and self-worth which will lead to them more diligently executing their role.
    • Invest in their development and growth.  Almost all employees, especially in the younger generations, want to continue to grow as people and learn new skills.  Invest in a variety of career and skills building tools and offerings for your employees to demonstrate that you value them as long term important resources.
    • Listen to your people.  Provide various ways for your employees to provide feedback including roundtables with senior leaders and using employee engagement surveys.  And after holding an employee engagement survey, quickly share results with employees including actions plans to address weaker areas to demonstrate that you take employee feedback seriously.
    • Provide employee incentives and benefits that are meaningful to your employees.  And it does not need to always be in cash and monetary bonuses.  Offering cool experiences, extra time off, contributing to a nonprofit that an employees is active in, even a simple “thank you” card with a personal note and voucher for a dinner for two shows employees that you value them.

    Bottom line, engaged employees can be the one differentiator in breaking away from the competition and winning in the marketplace.  Consider serious investment in this critical organizational resource.


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    Stan Kimer
    Stan Kimer
    Stan Kimer is a dynamic professional renowned for seamlessly blending a fervor for personal growth with unparalleled business acumen, propelling enterprises towards heightened efficiency and profitability through comprehensive engagement strategies. With expertise spanning employee development, career mapping, diversity management, and organizational effectiveness, Stan serves as the Vice President of Training at the National Diversity Council (NDC) since August 2019. In this capacity, he consults with clients, manages diversity and inclusion training discussions, and personally conducts various training programs, including Inclusive Recruiting and the Employee Resource Group Academy, while contributing to the NDC Certification Program faculty. Additionally, as the President and Owner of Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer since October 2010, Stan spearheads a consulting practice dedicated to pioneering approaches to career and skills development, LGBTQ marketplace and workplace diversity, and organizational effectiveness. His commitment to these domains is highlighted on his website: Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer. Notably, Stan's illustrious 31-year tenure at IBM, culminating as the Director of Sales Operations, Global Business Services in 2010, underscores his extensive corporate experience. During his tenure, he also served as the Corporate Diversity Manager for GLBT Diversity Programs from 1999 to 2003, leading initiatives that promoted inclusion and understanding. Educational accolades include an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago (1979) and a BS in Management Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology (1977). Committed to continuous learning, Stan actively participates in professional organizations such as TODN (Triangle Organizational and Development Network), TSHRM, and Greater Raleigh HRA. His impressive skill set is underscored by numerous endorsements for leadership development, change management, project management, coaching, strategic planning, and diversity-related expertise. With a steadfast focus on inclusivity and a proven track record, Stan Kimer stands as a respected authority in the realms of diversity, leadership, and organizational effectiveness.