Companies Are Investing in Employees to Enhance Long-Term Profitability

Ron Corker  |

Many of today's employees are unsatisfied with their careers. Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace” survey, for instance, revealed that many employees around the world are unhappy with their work. In fact, the poll revealed that 85-percent of workers are dissatisfied with their jobs.

Globally, dissatisfied workers contribute to nearly $7 trillion in productivity losses annually. Furthermore, employee turnover can cost enterprises twice the amount of each exiting worker’s base salary. Additionally, the exit of high-performance workers, who are 400-percent more productive than their professional peers, results in even more losses.

Employees Are the Driving Force Behind Commerce

To date, the methods that many employers have used to engage and develop employees have proven mostly unsuccessful. In fact, a survey of 400 large enterprises revealed that poor communication costs American firms tens of millions of dollars every year.

Some enterprise leaders unintentionally, or intentionally, promote poor work habits, leaving staff members feeling unsatisfied and rejected. Though more often, this happens because enterprise leaders fail to communicate with employees effectively. Even worse, some corporate leaders assume that employees automatically know their roles. Furthermore, many enterprises do not take employee development seriously.

While it's simple enough to avoid these issues on the surface, enterprise leaders must make a deeply sincere effort to understand and provide for the needs of their employees to promote long-term sustainability. Effective employee engagement helps enterprise leaders build a strong reputation in the marketplace. Moreover, it’s increasingly vital, as many of today's Millennials choose to quit their jobs rather than remain employed in an unsatisfying position.

Positive employee engagement can help enterprise leaders improve their relationships with consumers. Another Gallup report, “State of the American Workplace,” reveals that engaged employees typically produce a 20-percent increase in sales volume. By understanding employee sentiments, enterprise leaders can acquire a true gauge of where their firms stand in the marketplace.

An Investment You Can Count On

As corporate leaders work through emerging challenges in the current business landscape, it’s sometimes easy to forget to make sure that hard workers take needed breaks such as flextime and vacations. Enterprises that provide beneficial perks, such as paid time off and employee development training, create work environments where workers are less stressed and feel more secure.

While it’s sometimes difficult to define a specific return-on-investment generated by providing employee incentives, this kind of effective leadership almost always produces a positive emotional return in the form of increased employee satisfaction and engagement as well as an empowered workforce. In this sense, investing in employee development does produce direct and measurable positive outcomes. In fact, a Harvard Business Review study found that companies that effectively engage employees outperform their competitors by more than 2- to nearly 4-percent per year in long-term stock returns -- an 89-to 184-percent cumulative gain when considered with other factors that produce returns.

Any effective employee development program needs the full backing of executive leadership. While company heads could invest in other areas, employee development not only produces long-term returns, but goes a long way toward promoting employee satisfaction -- which in turn results in customer satisfaction.

Employees who are satisfied with their careers are energized, creative and productive. Some employees respond more to flex-time and others are motivated by effective wellness programs. In either case, superior benefits promote employee happiness and are a win-win investment.

Building a Consumer-Centric Firm

Today's buyers have incorporated technology into nearly every aspect of their personal and professional lives. A modern world where people can hail a ride in minutes and order groceries right to their front door has created the Era of the Consumer. Major corporations understand this shift in consumer behavior and have adopted a consumer-centric approach to fulfill the needs of today’s buyers.

Contemporary enterprise leaders give a significant amount of attention to every internal decision, system and process as well as to how consumers engage with these constructs. However, to build an effective consumer-centric operation, enterprise leaders must also ensure that their employees know that they’re valued. While many of today's enterprises develop complex plans to satisfy buyers, many others fail to meet the expectations of their most important consumers -- their staff members.

The primary focus of today's business leaders when investing in technology should be creating digital experiences that empower employees and help them to be more productive and prosperous. Enterprise technology that empowers employees with essential information makes it easier for workers to fulfill their responsibilities and helps to nurture a supportive work environment. This leads to a more satisfied workforce that, by extension, feels respected and valued. With the right tools for success, these workers can reach their full potential.

Today’s employees need innovative resources for collaboration, such as videoconferencing and social networking resources. These tools are necessary to promote teamwork in the modern workplace.

While technology facilitates collaboration, it’s not a means to that end. Still, innovative communications resources help employees to do their jobs and promotes productivity as well as satisfaction. Additionally, the ability to personalize communications resources further increases worker productivity.

Executives who are forward-thinking enough to realize that employee development is a top priority need new and effective solutions. Many businesses are recognizing that it's more important to focus on acquiring effective legacy software and information technology (IT) services, rather than focusing solely on cost-cutting. These innovations are requisite in a digitally-fueled marketplace.

As an aside, enterprise leaders don't have to choose between promoting culture and investing in empowering technology. Moreover, company heads need to find ways to promote culture and innovation simultaneously.

Outdated and ineffective IT systems make it difficult for workers to do their jobs. This leads to poor morale and decreased productivity. By arming employees with effective tools and training, enterprises can deliver consumer-centric, personalized experiences for potential buyers. In other words, business leaders who take good care of their staff members will find that their staff members will take exceptional care of their customers.

In this modern, digital marketplace, people are a top priority. Happy workers will create happy customers, resulting in long-term sustainable profits and prosperity.

DISCLOSURE: The author is not affiliated with and has not been compensated by any organization mentioned in this article.


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