Despite the recession companies continue to invest significantly in employee performance training and Lean Enterprise methodologies. The employers however may waste the return on their investment by neglecting the need to provide value of the training to their employees.
Organizational training is often been forced on to teams and employees disregarding the actual needs, wants and potential of each specific employee and the team(s) he or she belongs to. A survey from the Gallup Organization stated that 70 percent of U.S. employees claimed to feel either ”not engaged” or ”actively disengaged” at work.
Management may disregard their employees and yet succeed at implementing the Lean Enterprise methodology but it will be a matter of time before the acquired process improvements are lost as employee’s loose drive and commitment to lean practices. Workforce disengagement then becomes the hidden waste behind the company’s process improvements.
Managers must realize that even the most ingenious organizational process improvement solution will fail if the employees fail to find the inherent value in such a solution. Forcing the staff to implement the process improvements may be successful for in the short term but it will not be long before the employee looses motivation and there is a relaxation of the improved performance taking the company back to the previous performance level. To bring value and success from a company, we need to address the most precious commodity they have which are their employees. Enduring company success can only come from employee satisfaction and success.
What then constitutes value for the employee? Most managers believe the answer to this question is pure salary and benefit compensation. That incentive may also work in the short term but soon enough it will loose its effect and the employee looses motivation and engagement.
In order to bring and retain talented and highly motivated workers, we need to identify what makes the employee feel as a valuable part of the company. The employee’s sense of value success in the company cannot derive from other than their own sense of personal value. The issue then becomes aligning company valuables with the employee valuables.
Companies offer value to the employee when their managers sincerely and efficiently honor each employee, address their individual value, needs and wants, and maximize their growth and potential at the individual, team and organizational levels.
The value behind organizational success then transcends the single bottom line which has traditionally been cascaded down from the top management to the lowest staff level. Although conventional company profit may still be the perceived indicator of success in business and society, employee happiness makes the organization prevail. Employee wellbeing can help us connect the value stream flow between customer and company with the much greater flow of value between company, customer and society. Such connection can be viewed as the shift from single to triple bottom line, which comprises economic, environmental and social wellness.
Investing in employee wellbeing requires expanding beyond the mere financial incentive and reward. It involves honoring and nurturing employee’s career interests, relationships, trust, reputation, generosity, comradery, and other currencies based on human values rather than on profit-based monetary currency.