The start of a new year is always a great time to set new—and, perhaps, bigger—business goals. At People Spark, we’re aiming high with a three-year plan to help 10,000 employees feel inspired, valued, and engaged at work, and by their work. Why focus on employee engagement? According to a Gallup survey, having motivated, happy workers increases profitability by 21%, decreases turnover by 24%, and improves productivity by 17%. Engaged employees equal profitable businesses. It’s good for everybody.
We know employee engagement starts, and ends, with managers and supervisors. That’s why we’re laser-focused on leadership development. After all, achieving business goals is a whole lot easier (and more likely) when everyone at the company has a shared vision for the future. They also must be clear about the impact of their individual contributions and motivated to do their best.
Here’s a snapshot of our strategy for engaging 10k employees by developing amazing leaders supported by HR strategies and processes. Imagine a grid made up of four squares. “Process” is on one axis, and “Skills” is along the other.
One square represents a typical way to implement HR, which we call “Process for the Sake of Process.” Problem is, when employees and leaders get overloaded with forms to complete and boxes to check, they complain, “I don’t know why we’re doing this.” Apathy, the enemy of energy and productivity, sets in. Processes tend to fall in this square when leaders do not have the skills or experience to lead their teams. We see this situation a lot in the ag and feed industry because it’s common for supervisors to rise through the ranks without formal training or skills development.
Another square represents Well-Intentioned Leaders. Leaders have the company’s best interest at heart and they have the skills and experience to lead a team. However, without the process to provide direction, there is no alignment with business goals and objectives. As a result, these leaders are working hard, but not necessarily headed in the same direction.
A third box is empty—it represents companies that have neither processes nor skills in place. In these cases, employees and leaders may be doing their best but walking in circles, similar to herding cats.
So, onto the fourth and most important square in our grid: Where the Magic Happens. In this space, employees at every level are excited to go to work. They feel lucky to have confident, competent leaders who make them feel valued, supported, and heard. Sure, there’s a process to do, but everyone knows it’s to support alignment, to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction. Above all, employees know the company culture is based on “people first” strategies.
In this fourth square, skilled leaders ensure the organization is always moving forward. That’s critical because, in these fast-changing times, businesses that aren’t advancing are actually slipping backward. It’s this grim reality that inspired us to create the Ignite to Transform program for team leaders. Because it’s not easy keeping up with, let alone staying ahead of, a competitive and ever-evolving market. If you don’t have skilled managers and supervisors on your team, it’s simply impossible.
By the way, if you’re wondering if your top people are up to snuff, take heart. We believe that great leaders are made, not born. We’ve seen managers and supervisors be truly transformed when they learn and master fundamental leadership skills and strategies. When your leaders reach their full potential, your teams, and your business at large, can start to thrive.
We’d love to include your leadership team in our goal of helping 10,000 people grow and thrive in business! Secure your spot in the January 20th cohort of our Ignite to Transform program. Watch this video and book a free informational call to find out more.