Engaged Employees: More Valuable than a Pot of Gold

potofgoldSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. While leprechauns are chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, many of us are running businesses and using much more than luck to make the right things happen. At the foundation of what we do is our employees. These are the individuals who spend a majority of their time with us, interact with our customers, make decisions that affect our organizations and help us reach our greatest potential. They bring skills, talents, knowledge and, hopefully, passion to our places of work each day. To me, and many other business leaders, our employees are our greatest assets; our pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.

In order to truly benefit from these pots of gold, though, we have to have employees who are engaged. Don’t get me wrong, I love a happy employee. I want our employees to smile, to enjoy their everyday tasks and to work well with others. I also want our employees to be satisfied. I want them to feel fulfilled with their job tasks, to make a decent wage and to be generally pleased with their work environment. But, happiness and satisfaction are not enough – employees need to be engaged.

Employee engagement starts at both ends of the rainbow – with the employee, as well as the employer. It’s a commitment to each other that we all share the same goals and objectives. This commitment, if upheld, creates an environment where employees can begin to feel passionate about what they do and what they can offer. This lays the groundwork for engagement.

When employees start to become engaged they then become motivated to contribute to the organization’s success. They start to give a higher level of effort than what is required – what is often known as discretionary effort. Many employees are required to arrive at work by a certain time, to dress a particular way and to complete specific tasks related to their job. Discretionary effort is used when an employee goes above and beyond. It’s when they notice an issue and approach their supervisor with a solution. It’s when they work a few minutes later in the evening just to get a project done. It’s when they take the time to properly thank a co-worker for the help they received from them.

At first it may seem like a lot of work to create a culture where employees can be engaged, but in the end engaged employees will positively affect our organizations. Customers are sure to be happier, profits will increase and employees will stay committed. Jack Welch, former CEO at GE, has said, “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

I encourage you to find a way to increase employee engagement in your organization. Doing so will create a path to the end of the rainbow and pot of gold filled with employees passionately helping you to achieve your goals and bring successes to your business.

Post Courtesy of: Melissa Marion, Director of Fund Development
Monongahela Valley Hospital