When you go to work in the morning, do you take a moment to engage your employees in conversation? Do you really know the people you’re working with? Do you care about their lives? Do you invest in them as people? Or, do you see them as cogs in the wheel, just another company asset that hopefully pushes forward productivity, and the company’s bottom line?
As an employer, executive, or manager, this is an incredibly important issue for you to pay attention to, and actively consider.
The answer lies in the fact that according to the latest numbers (Spring 2014) from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD, there is a “marked increase in negative perceptions of senior managers, with overall trust and confidence in senior managers hitting a two-year low.” The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development in the UK.
What’s the reason behind these negative perceptions?
Well, quite simply, the majority of employees don’t feel they have the opportunity to move up the ladder. They don’t feel those above them on the proverbial food chain care about them, their careers, or their professional development. As the CIPD noted, “employees are … reporting issues around progression opportunities, with more feeling that career progression is unachievable as opposed to achievable.”
Want more bad news?
As reported by HR Magazine, The Global Perspectives survey, released by global research firm ORC International found that “A third of employees asked reported they did not have a positive relationship with their managers. Almost half (49%) said they felt valued at work, down from 56% last year.”
That’s pretty dismal. Don’t you agree?
On top of that, professionals across the UK don’t feel like they’re encouraged to be innovative, they’re not allowed to be creative, they don’t have the opportunity to “get better” at what they do, and opportunities for advancement are withheld. In essence, they feel they’re getting crushed by employers on multiple levels!
Perhaps this is why the latest ORC International survey results from early 2015 show that “employees demand still greater authenticity from their leaders, seek more collaboration and need to be inspired by those that manage and lead them. It’s clear that leadership must step up to the mark and demonstrate its agility in the face of change.”
What do you do with survey results like these? Do you toss out the data,roll your eyes, shrug your shoulders, and mutter something about pathetic cry babies? Or…do you, as a business leader, actually step up to the mark?
If your choice is the latter, how do you do that?
“Encouraging innovative ideas, creative thinking and providing an environment where employees feel that managers act in their best interest are just some aspects … which ultimately have a positive effect on overall business outcomes and client satisfaction.”
Realistically then … in what areas are you able to increase employee happiness and help to measurably increase your business’s bottom line? (Investing in what areas will help create a “win-win” for the employer and employee?)
The answer is that there is a shortage of professionals with digital skills, so investing in advanced training for your employees can be considered a win-win.
You see, employees value the training you provide (as long as it actually increases their skills, and isn’t a “make work” piece of fluff). They see it as a job benefit. That’s important to know because a report by IBM (entitled, appropriately enough, “The Value of Training”), which came out as part of the “IBM Smarter Workforce 2013 Survey” noted that “employees who do not feel they can achieve their career goals at their current organization are 12 times more likely to consider leaving than employees who do feel they can achieve their career goals. Even worse, this number skyrockets to about 30 times more likely for new employees.” Thus, companies that fail to invest in advanced training for their employees actively contribute to their own loss of qualified personnel!
Conversely, those companies that do invest in their employees not only retain their employees, but professional skills can easily be taught through online training courses, (such as advanced classes in Microsoft Excel, etc.) and they are amazingly cost effective. They have been shown to help reduce employee turnover, and can even be used as a “perk” when it comes to recruiting. Plus, businesses that invest in the skills of their employees increase their overall business value. As the IBM report states, “the benefits of a skilled workforce and a learning solution are significant and measurable, and they affect all areas of the organization …”
So what’s your take away? What’s the sum of the matter?
It’s simple really.
When you invest in your employees, they’ll invest in you. Your value and theirs will skyrocket.