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Engaging your People for maximizing business performance. As 2009 seems to become a question mark in our minds and in our business reports, there is one question every executive I have spoken with does: How can we deal with next year’s market challenges? But at the same time, everybody wants the same: maximize the organization's business performance. Cutting costs has been the traditional driver and it seems to have a very short-term effect. When you are cutting marketing investments, people's direct costs or just fringe benefits, you are actually cutting the employees’ value proposition you have promised. They are your front-line weapon against this “crisis” and you are actually sparing on your munitions. Employee engagement has never been more important than at this moment. And maybe the question the executives should be doing is: can we afford not to spend time on people engagement right now? It was never more imperative to increase the productivity and capabilities of your teams; to look for more effective, more innovative, more sustainable ways of doing things; to exceed customers expectations and to have your people fully motivated and engaged with their work.

Engaging Your People For Business Performance


“We know what has to be done, but we just can’t carry out our plans. Our employees aren’t getting the job done. How can we engage people for business goals?

Engaging Your People For Business Performance


ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED TO YOUR ORGANIZATION’S GOALS? Executing a strategy can be far more difficult than defining a strategy. To align these two steps, engagement represents a critical factor. People that feel Inspired, committed, moved, passionate, energetic and proactive at work are normally engaged to the company and its business goals. Nowadays’ organizations need employees that work vigorously motivated to support its goals. They become proactively present solutions, they do the “extra mile” just because they feel part of a special mission or a “community”, they are enthusiastic about their challenges. These and other characteristics are vital to any organization that wish to be successful in the next years. This new values and behaviors “crisis” will not forgive companies where people are disengaged from their work and companies. Jason Associates defines engagement as the way which employees apply themselves to work with their intellect, their intelligence and with their passion. Employees who are engaged through their intelligence take an active interest in the organization and its activities. They reflect about their work experiences and shape their own beliefs about the organization’s employee’s value proposition. Employees that are engaged through their intellect are willing to invest their time and efforts in order to help the organization reach its objectives. Employees that are engaged through their passion are emotionally involved with the organization’s goals, people and mission. They will do more, better and faster than other engaged employees, as their behaviors are driven by their beliefs.


33% ENGAGED EMPLOYEES Engaged employees are the ones who turn up to work each day looking forward to the day’s activities willing to help out whenever needed.

8% DISENGAGED EMPLOYEES Disengaged employees are also easy to identify, despite their attempts to cover their disengagement. They will never do the extra mile and will show no excitement about colleague, company or even costumer achievements.

59% UNDECIDED EMPLOYEES The Undecided are the dangerous ones. They are neither engaged nor disengaged. They do their work, they fit the normal company’s cultural behaviors, but, they will never give you the extra effort you need to ensure co-working, customer and organizational effectiveness and business performance. The big problem is that normally half of the employees are Undecided. You need to pass them to the engaged area. Based upon statistical analysis of the survey responses of more than 20,000 employees from over 200 organizations. Survey by JRA Institute

You know what to do with engaged and disengaged employees. But you just can’t allow your company to have undecided people. They have to make choices as they represent more than half of your workforce.

Engaging Your People For Business Performance


EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT DRIVES YOUR ORGANIZATION TO BETTER PERFORMANCE Its obvious that engaged employees drive organizations to better business performance. But is it possible to measure impact of engagement initiatives? The answer is YES. Not only measure but also link these initiatives to business performance (ex: sales per employee, staff turnover, employee productivity, etc).

STEP 1 Employees Engagement & Corporate Context analysis

Employee Engagement level & drivers

STEP 2 Engagement Initiatives

Corporate DNA

STEP 3 Measure Employee Reaction

STEP 4 Measure & adjust Employee Performance Indicators

STEP 5 Measure & adjust Business Performance Indicators

Employee Engagement Key success factors

Sense of Community

People Development


Intention to stay

Customer Satisfaction



Lower Turnover Less Absenteeism Lower costs with hiring

STEP 6 Measure Return on Engagement Investment

Profit per employee

New products, methodologies, processes, etc.

Higher Profit

Although most executives believe that employee engagement have impact in their business performance, they simply don’t do anything about it. Executives often believe that they already do an excellent job engaging people or simply they don’t know how to do it well. We suggest you perform a belief audit, a simple survey throughout the organization to review the engagement drivers and compare top executives’ opinion with the other employees’ opinion. You might have a surprise.

Engaging Your People For Business Performance




Low Performance High Impact

High Performance High Impact

Low Performance Low Impact

High Performance Low Impact


The organization must be prepared for an engagement project. The top management team must support the initiatives and energize their teams through a constant and clear communication on the vision and values of the organization. The organizational culture must be aligned with the project’s goals (ex: if you promote competition between team members you will not succeed in trying to implement co-working initiatives). The organizational culture should encourage employees to work for the company’s objectives. An engagement project should be implemented in cascade, which means that engaging the top management first will simplify the task of engaging managers and the rest of the employees. Finally, Human Resources systems should be in place or at least be started. Recognition plans, career development and other basic policies are extremely relevant for employees’ engagement.

Find out what are the key drivers of engagement that are low performing and have a potentially larger impact in your employees’ engagement. These are the ones you should start with. They are the quick-wins. You will deliver results and that will bring great motivation to continue.


Organizations must understand what drives engagement. Not only in an individual level but also the key success factors of the organizational context. These steps help you analyze which are the drivers that really impacts employee engagement and the current performance of each driver. This way, you can address your efforts on those with higher probability to improve and impact your business profit.




Some of the Key Engagement Drivers you should pay attention to: Enjoyable work that provides a sense of personal achievement; Friendly, supportive colleagues; Work that makes full use of employees’ knowledge and skills Relation with line manager and key-relations Good work/life balance Varied work Trust in the top level organization members Career and personal development opportunities Personal sense of Belonging to the organization Belief that the company is doing something worthwhile Feeling that what we do makes a difference Being part of a successful team Recognition for our achievements Job meets employee’s needs and expectations Fun in the workplace

Engaging Your People For Business Performance

“only if the Top Management of the organization is committed you will have success…”


STEP 2 ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVES - THE THREE LAYERS OF ENGAGEMENT There are innumerous initiatives that can be put in placed. However, organizations should understand what are the critical drivers that should be addressed first and then act through all the following engagement layers in order to achieve a major impact.

“Engagement strategies help your organization becoming a best place to work”

Engagement Layer 1 - CORPORATE DNA A vision and values that clearly define the organization's purpose, provides employees a real sense of the ‘big picture’ and the part they play in it. (ex: regular communication of the values and vision, align strategy and behaviors to vision and values, etc). Corporate DNA is also the expected behaviors, traditions and processes that drive the company to success. (ex: celebration of successes, internal communication workflow, recognizing and rewarding, inspiring performance culture, etc.) When Corporate DNA is in place, employees trust and understand the organizational goals and how they can impact the result; stimulate employees through direction, recognition and rewarding, and creates an environment of success. Engagement Layer 2 - SENSE OF COMMUNITY Organizational environments where people can feel a strong sense of belonging, respect, support, confidence, care, etc. are normally more successful as they promote an atmosphere for innovation, coworking and speed on decision making. Usually, employers adopt a variety of strategies to make the workplace a fun and enjoyable environment.

Engaging Your People For Business Performance

Any of these strategies are aimed directly to bring people together and improve the quality of social relationships within the organization. (ex: teams that trust each other are normally more creative in their approaches as they are not afraid of taking risks in their small “family”). Engagement Layer 3 - PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT By developing not only necessary technical skills for the role but also interpersonal skills that can impact employees’ life, you are in fact providing tools that encourage people to be better human beings. This means that they will explore their full potential and can create more value for your organization. Successful organizations make all their efforts to ensure that employees’ skills are fully applied in the organization. Knowledge is shared amongst people and this knowledge is retained through the creation of opportunities in the organization. Coaching and Mentoring programs, job skills training, career development programs, key talent development programs, annual reviews adapted to the person and job’s nature, job sculpting, and many other solutions should be considered as part of the engagement equation.


STEP 3 TO 6 MEASURE AND ADJUST PERFORMANCE INDICATORS – AND RETURN ON ENGAGEMENT As you put into action the engagement initiatives you have to create a measuring system that helps you to collect and analyze all data related with the engagement and the impact on business and employee performance. Some companies already have tools that can be used for this purpose. Annual employee reviews, 360º feedback evaluations, employee surveys, etc. But to guarantee that you are able not only to measure but also to identify which KPI’s you should adjust, we suggest you to create a specific measuring system. It will help you understand the engagement return on investment faster. Identifying key-employees, key processes, key customers, key practices, etc. that should be spread through all the organization. By providing relevant information to the company’s leaders you are helping them to take better decisions and drive their people for success.

Engaging Your People For Business Performance

Did you know? Different studies present us the following results on employee engagement: •Engagement Strategies can increase sales per employee up to 28% in the first year? •Engagement Strategies can reduce employee rotation up to 32%? What do these numbers say to you in your organizational context?


HOW CAN JASON ASSOCIATES HELP YOU Independently of which are your final objectives, engagement is always an excellent solution for business growth. It supports your organization’s sustainability, innovation and productivity.

Either you are already developing engagement strategies or not, Jason Associates can help organizations in the following engagement projects:

Independently if your are developing engagement strategies or not, we suggest you to take the following key-success factors into consideration:

Develop End-to-end engagement strategies; Perform engagement surveys that helps you understand the current engagement status of your organization; Design and implement engagement initiatives measuring systems; Facilitate workshops for engagement initiatives definition; Perform engagement corporate talks for top management; Support organizations implementing specific, tailormade engagement initiatives in one of the three engagement layers (Corporate DNA, Sense of Community or People Development)

Guarantee that Top Management is totally committed; Involve employees in action plan; Focus your time and resources in the key-drivers; Always measure your progress; Create sustainable engagement mechanisms;

Engaging Your People For Business Performance


JASON ASSOCIATES Jason Associates is a Strategic Talent Management consulting firm that combines deep knowledge of people’s behaviors with expertise in talent attraction, talent development, talent retention and organizational transformation. Jason Associates work closely with organization key-people of the organization to participate in the challenges of building and managing talent, and accelerating organizational performance.

For further information, please contact Jason Associates at: T: +351 213182930 Av. Liberdade, nº299 – 4º 1250-142 Lisbon Portugal Engaging Your People For Business Performance


Engaging your people for 2009 business performance  

Jason Associates' approach in engaging your people.

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