The importance of engaged employees -- a testimonial

10170578_s Human behavior, while generally predictable (with good human data,) cannot be insured. That is why human factor science is so critical to your organization's success. Every employee must be committed to your company’s agenda, goals, mission and vision.  To start the process properly you must begin with your job ads; the way you advertise, source, recruit, and hire new talent. Just as an employer wants to attract, retain and develop the best talent possible; employees want to work for the best company available. The job ad is one of the first indicators of a company’s organizational culture. If the job description and ad is boring, bland and uninspired, guess what kind of talent do you think you’re going to attract?

Unfortunately most of us have worked for more bad companies and leaders than good ones. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witness employees quit either during training or immediately afterwards because they felt the company misled them during the interview process. The job, the employees, and culture were totally different than the opportunity that was sold in the screening process.

It’s not hard for new employees to get a feel for the culture. The behavior of your current employees, the type of welcome they receive, the technology that you use and the essential job duties, all indicate the type of company you are and if your employees are excited to work for you. Disengaged employees are like bloodthirsty zombies, and they can suck the life’s blood right out of your new employees.

Finally, it’s important to remember that every communication, correspondence and press release is a reflection of your corporate culture. Your DNA comes through on your digital footprints and external communications.  So be careful how you brand yourself. Employees source online for great employers just like employers source for great employees. Potential hires use social media, they look at the “about us” corporate pages, and they pay attention to the job board descriptions. Be aware of ways to you engage current and new talent in all phases of your organizations, including community events and volunteer work.

Consider that most employees would love to work for companies like Google, Microsoft or Starbucks. But why? It’s because these companies have reputations for taking care of their people; both internally and externally. They seem to really care about their corporate reputation.  And they are socially aware, that means they use social networks and give back the community.

They get it, smart employers know that by treating employees well it increases employee engagement, and that increases the chances of organizational success.

How can data help build a strong and growing business?

Fundamentally, any business must have three important things in place in order to be successful. They are:

  1. A business plan
  2. A financial plan
  3. A “people” plan

Of these three fundamentals, the one that is widely overlooked or underutilized is the people plan.

Most businesses build their companies by hiring competencies, often overlooking the Human (“H”) Factor data. The reality is that we must view the full human picture, not just a person’s skill sets. Hiring and developing the right people, who have the appropriate skill sets, are compatible with the corporate culture and will perform their function without stress is not nearly as hard as it may seem.

The heart of the matter is that merely hiring the right people is not enough. They must be kept on the right path, and their abilities maximized for the company to benefit. The following diagram will be used to help us remember the importance of not only hiring the right person but the value in the secondary steps, which must be individualized to help managers and employees attain their potential. Only then will they position themselves to impact corporate productivity, performance and profitability.

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America’s most successful companies have found that an investment in data research and analysis yields significant returns. This is a huge advantage afforded large companies over medium and small organizations. Data directs them toward bottom-line results that cannot be obtained any other way to identify, develop and retain clients. Once acquired, the data creates efficiencies and opportunities for growth and development of their business.

The challenge for most organizations is acquiring the right data and applying the gained information in the proper context. What most organizations worldwide have failed to do at this point is to use the same types of research and analysis -- already used on their business and financial plans -- and apply them to the human factor.

We must realize that our job is not just to accumulate data about employees’ abilities, but rather to make sure we are gathering the right data and applying it correctly. In fact, many organizations do not know what they need to know.

Why? Because there is more data out there than they need. There are tens of thousands of validated assessments available for use. You must be astute enough to know which data mining tool will give you the information appropriate for your corporate culture, not just information for a seminar or the personnel file to justify the hire.

 

Using Marketing 101 to build a team of quality employees

stockvault-pen-on-diagram103904 Because of today’s fierce marketplace competition, marketers are always looking for ways to build and enhance a customer base, deepen customer loyalty, and improve user experience. Marketers’ extensive use of data has paved the way to create a user experience that treats customers in ways that they want to be treated.

Guess what? Employees are individuals, just like customers.

CMOs from large organizations have known for a long time that data tells a story and provides answers you cannot get anyplace else. In turn, marketers use split tests, multivariate tests and more to make sure the information they seek is telling them what they need to know.

Let's think about marketers’ process to see if it provides insight about how we might approach dealing with the human factor. The first step a marketer considers is developing a “Buyer Persona.” In other words, asking, “What is my target audience?” and, “Who will want to purchase my product or service?”  This can be compared to benchmarking a position. Investment, time and research are important to gathering elements that are key to understanding the buyer.

Some of these key elements include:

  • Buyer demographics
  • Problems buyers face (understanding their pain)
  • Buyer priorities and values
  • Buyer habits and characteristics
  • Buyer psychographics

Marketers know that when they have this information they have a foundation for building an argument supporting their product and/or service. Most marketers will not begin a full-scale strategy trying to meet market needs until they have this data. Wise marketers learn what it takes to acquire, build repeated use, and maintain a customer BEFORE they begin a campaign.

When hiring, most organizations try their best to minimize costs and invest as little as possible, while still believing they can find the right person for the right position without any data to support their search.

Maintaining a customer is about 20% of the cost that it takes to find a new one. Should we not apply the same mentality to hiring and retaining quality employees?