Reading through today’s Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger I came across an interesting turn-of-the-year article (sorry, German language) about a survey (German language) commissioned by the German Bundesarbeitsministerium (Ministry of Work) on staff attitudes to work and their employers.
Hidden amongst the usual statistics about percentages of satisfied, highly satisfied and completely satisfied workers was the interesting finding that staff engagement was the single most important driver of successful companies’ financial results, accounted for 31% of a typical company’s financial return. The next two factors were product & service quality (13%) and organisational flexibility(also 13%).
The spokeswoman for the Ministry (from the Department of Workers Rights and Employment Protection!) suggested that this showed that companies should invest more in better conditions for staff (read: pay and conditions, at a time when the German trade-unions are preparing for their annual round of wage bargaining). This remedy is far too simplistic to be really effective. Don’t misunderstand me, better pay is clearly important as a hygiene factor, but above a certain ‘fair’ level it isn’t a recognised driver of engagement for most staff. Much more important is giving staff training to do their work better, giving them more empowerment to do their job better and getting them involved more in leading from the front-line.
What do you think? Are your staff your secret competitive weapon? Or are they just ‘doing time’ until they retire?
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Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM manager