How much does it cost your business to lose and then replace an employee? Be sure you count not just recruitment costs, but also downtime, training and orientation, overtime for other employees, etc. Most managers have never done this analysis, but whatever you believe the total number is, the real cost is probably higher.
In an attempt to develop a theory of human motivation, psychologist Abraham Maslow described a hierarchy of human needs. He suggested that once humans have met their basic life-sustaining needs like breathing, food, and sleep, they inevitably go on to seek fulfillment of higher needs, beginning with personal safety and extending through love and belonging, esteem, and finally to self-actualization. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was developed in a Western context and assumes certain attitudes that are not universally applicable. Still, it is a useful framework for discussion. Early employers like the Ming Dynasty emperors concerned themselves only with the bottom layer of the pyramid when building the Great Wall of China. They operated in a closed system: Employees either accepted what their employers offered or they died. More recently other organizations, like DuPont, realized that paying attention to issues like employee safety would enhance the sustainability of their operations. Today’s employees have multiple alternatives, so their focus moves up the hierarchy of needs without their even realizing it. As a result they naturally gravitate to employers who offer the highest levels of satisfaction on the highest levels of the hierarchy. The implications of this should be a wake-up call to employers who are interested in controlling costs.
So, as we’ve stated elsewhere, paying attention to employees is the first step in engaging them. But there is an additional benefit: Those closest to your product are more familiar with it – how it’s made, how it’s marketed, and how it’s used – than practically anyone else. Managers, who must concern themselves with a host of other issues, run the risk of losing sight of their own product and its fundamentals. The occasional stroll across the factory floor or visit with one of your sales representatives is not enough. Ask a CloudForce HR consultant how you can develop mechanisms for achieving continuous improvement in your business by making employee engagement an integral part of your business philosophy. ——– This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.