If you are familiar with The Center for Sales Strategy, then you know that our reason for being is “Turning Talent into Performance.” It’s at the core of everything we do.
Showing up to work with that clear purpose every day, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the only way you can effectively turn talent into performance is if the talented people you are working with are also engaged in the process. Otherwise, it’s a losing battle.
You can’t increase performance without engagement.
So here’s something scary… according to the 2013 Gallup “State of the American Workforce” report, 70% of American workers are not engaged or are actively disengaged from their workplace. That’s a pretty serious obstacle on the path to performance improvement!
That probably alarms you (it alarmed me!), but don’t immediately start brainstorming ways to make sure your employees are happy at work. You have to know that engagement and happiness are two very different things.
Gallup’s study also showed that an employee can be both happy and completely disengaged at the exact same time. And, while happiness is certainly important, it is simply not enough on its own. In order to create sustainable change in an organization, retain top performers, and positively affect the bottom line, you need to reach beyond just making your employees happy and also ensure that they are engaged.
How do you know if your employees are engaged?
There are many indicators: They tell their friends and family about company job openings, they raise their hand and ask to be a part of projects and initiatives, they try their hardest to hit their targets, they speak about their job to others with pride, they interact with other people and departments when possible and actively share ideas, they care about the future of the company and consistently look for ways to improve, and they go beyond the call of duty and regularly “wow” people.
So, how do you do that? How does a company effectively engage their employees? It all starts at the very beginning, with selection.
The only sure-fire way to create engagement at work is to put the right people in the right jobs.
When you place an individual in a well-defined role that matches their natural abilities, they will be better able to make a strong contribution to the company. This will in turn lead to them feeling happier and more productive. But most importantly, they will be more engaged!
Take the time to use a validated talent instrument in advance of every hire. This additional step may cost a bit more and take a bit longer, but you will be able to identify your candidate’s exact talents, make a smart hiring decision, and ensure that the fit is right for consistent engagement.With each hire, you will find that your overall engagement level increases and you will finally be able to invest your time turning talent into performance. And trust me, nothing feels better!