Monday 29 October 2012

The simple path to performance improvement is normally, sadly, a road seldom taken

Jane and John Doe are your typical employee.

 I began meeting John and Jane nearly 40 years ago when I first began my working life. In fact back then I was John Doe.

Since 1991 when I left the corporate world and began working with business owners/leaders of medium sized businesses and leaders in multinational organisations to help them improve performance, I have met 1000’s of Jane’s and John’s. Regardless of industry, country, product or service Jane and John Doe are everywhere. They are the majority of your employees.  And they are stopping (albeit unwillingly) your business from being the standout it could be.

Jane and John Doe are your average employee. They are neither actively engaged or disengaged.

When I first began researching employee engagement 12 years ago the first survey I looked at was one by the Corporate Leadership Council. It involved more than 50,000 employees from several countries and industries. The findings were “13% of employees fully engaged in their work, 11% actively disengaged and 76% open to persuasion.”

Each of these percentages staggered me. And guess what? Despite billions of dollars spent, and countless hours and tons of energy, nothing has really changed.

Engagement surveys across the world still reveal the same kind of dismal results.

The 2007-2008 global workforce study by Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) involved more than 90,000 employees from 18 countries. The results: “Only 20 percent of them felt fully engaged ... 40% were ‘enrolled,’ meaning capable but not fully committed, and 38% were disenchanted or disengaged.”

In Blessing White’s Employee Engagement Report 2011 which reflected interviews with 11,000 individuals I noted the following: “Fewer than 1 in 3 employees are Engaged.” And “The Engaged stay for what they give; the Disengaged stay for what they can get.”

What is going on? 
What is going on is that in most organisation's Jane and John Doe are being overlooked.

Jane and John Doe are salt of the earth people. They come to work every day with good intentions, do what they believe is their best, and go home. Very few leaders pay Jane and John much attention because they’re busy pampering those they feel are the so called “engaged” and trying the “fix” the “disengaged.”  

The future success of your business lies with how you see, treat and take care of Jane and John Doe. Jane and John, like every human being, have aspirations. In my experience the trouble is you don’t know what Jane and John’s aspirations are because most of the conversations you have with them, if you have conversations at all, are about your business and not about them as people. You need to have conversations about the personal and your business.  

The magic is in the middle

Most organisations look like this with most employees in the middle.

Political elections are won and lost in the middle.  Just ask Obama and Romney!

You can win more in your business by moving the middle to the left and the right to the left or out the door.

What’s next?

5 actions you can take.

1. Truly get to know your employees who are neither engaged or disengaged.  Find out what really matters to them and what they are passionate about.

2. Help your neither engaged or disengaged employees to identify their unique talents or gifts and work with them to create a one page 90 day action plan to better ultilise their talents or gifts to achieve what really matters to them.

3. At the same time help people to add to their one page 90 day action plan how they can better bring their unique talents or gifts to their work.

4. Teach people to have regular conversations with their team mates about their one page 90 day action plan and how to show appreciation to another when their plan is working and how to be more accountable when, for whatever reason, their plan isn’t followed.

5. Ensure that every 90 days people have a what’s worth celebrating and what could be better conversation with themselves and their team mates and then upgrade their one page personal and business action plan for the next 90 days and continue appreciation and accountability conversations.

I realise the actions above may seem counter intuitive or even silly.

My Enhancing Their Gifts System makes it simple for you to take the above 5 actions.  If there is not significant performance improvement within 90 days of implementing the system I will give you your investment back no questions asked.

What the system does like nothing else available on the planet is engage people in their hearts and minds for the right reasons, unlike most performance management systems that try to engage people in their minds for all the wrong reasons.

See the key differences between the Enhancing Their Gifts System and the rest here and register for the next demonstration clinic or contact me to arrange a private clinic.

“The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (published in 1916.)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

I have been a pioneer in the development and effective use of one page personal and business action plans.  What is truly unique about the Enhancing Their Gifts System is not the one page however.  What is special is the journey before the one page is created and the powerful conversations that follow.  It is a road less traveled.  I promise you that taking it will make all the difference.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.

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