“You can’t win in the marketplace unless you win first in the workplace. If you don’t have a winning culture inside, it’s hard to compete in the very tough world outside”

Douglas Conant

In challenging times, businesses cannot afford the luxury of unproductive employees. As companies continually look to reduce costs as they negotiate unknown waters, cutting from the wrong places can be short-sighted and damaging.

To be competitive is to have a focused team of engaged employees, who are there for the long haul. In troubling times it is those businesses that focus on their people that will be able to withstand challenges and maximise the opportunities that will arise.

Successful businesses will always continue to focus on their people.

Investing in your people is a great way to protect your business

That’s why employee engagement has long been heralded as the holy grail of organisational success. It’s a person’s emotional and intellectual commitment to an organisation. And while it’s hard to put a price tag on, many studies have shown the impact of high employee engagement, as well as the flipside: The cost of not investing in a positive workplace environment.

Jacob Morgan, best-selling author, futurist and keynote speaker on the future of work, employee experience and leadership, conducted interviews with 150 psychologists, economists, and business leaders around the world to identify the three environments that matter most to employees: cultural, technological and physical. He then analysed more than 250 organisations based on these insights – many from the Fortune 100 and those ranked as ‘best places to work’. What he discovered was telling.

  • Over half the companies were rated poorly by their employees in at least one of the three areas.
  • 20% were scored very low across the board
  • 23% were ‘making strides’ in all three areas
  • Only 6% were investing heavily in all three
  • Of those 6% – the ‘experiential organisations’ who were investing in an ongoing, considered and deliberate engagement strategy – they saw directly-related performance gains.

When Morgan interviewed leaders at the top organisations (the likes of Adobe, Microsoft, Facebook, Accenture), they anecdotally reported their investments in the three ‘employee experience environments’ (cultural, technological and physical) had led “not only to happier employees but also to larger talent pipelines and greater profitability and productivity”. 

If you don’t capture the hearts and minds of your people – no amount of money will keep them long term – and when there is no cash to splash around and bonuses are non-existent then smart companies are looking for alternatives. Shared experiences build relationships – they inspire conversation, create memories and strengthen emotional bonds between people and the businesses they work for”

Naomi Simson