Why Employee Engagement and Enablement?

Mindful Leadership versus Engagement and Enablement2Competitive companies nowadays face an enormous pressure and so do their employees. Today’s best leaders have the resilience to cope with the many challenges and uncertainties coming their way and the resolve to sustain long-term success. Where does this resilience come from?

Well, from focus and clarity on one hand while making important decisions, then from creativity while transforming their enterprises, compassion for their employees and customers and lastly of course from courage to go their own way.

Studies conducted by companies evaluating their own executives have proven that the top 10% of performers displayed superior competencies in what is called, emotional intelligence, rather than in purely cognitive thinking. Capabilities like self-confidence and initiative; bouncing back from setbacks and staying cool under stress; empathy and powerful communication, collaboration; and teamwork all make for better business results.

Of course, when people feel motivated they perform better. High levels of employee engagement can for example boost revenue growth by up to 2.5 times!

But employee engagement is only half of the story. It’s not enough feeling great about your job if you cannot get things done. That’s why it is important for employees to be “enabled” too.

And exactly for that reason, the focus lies on you, your capacity to motivate your teams, engage and enable them. You become actors as well as owners of a sustainable future within your organisation or company by embodying change and people focus. Walk the talk and your employees will follow!

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

How Leadership Can Have a Real Impact on “Human Capital”

In a world that seems to rotate faster every day and in which the words “globalisation” and “digitalisation” play prominent roles in all areas, one factor becomes more and more important for every leader: the promotion and the continuing education of their motivated and qualified employees. Within a global economy, in which the financial resources are not the only necessary conditions able to ensure a competitive advantage, another form of capital, the “human capital” is more and more valorised. As the 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers found out, “talent shortages and mismatches are impacting profitability now.”[1] Although more and more people are educated and mobile, many tasks can nowadays be fulfilled from anywhere in the world, in part thanks to technology. This might mean talent gaps in certain markets or certain industries where highly skilled employees are simply not available. The human being hence moves centre stage and becomes a major ingredient of a company’s success. As a result, the capacity to motivate and retain talent is in fact more important than ever.

But what can be understood when speaking about “human capital” and why, over the last decade and in some cultures, did the notion sometimes suffer from a negative interpretation?[2]Although many different ways exist to describe “human capital”, a common definition says that it is (…)the stock of competencies, knowledge, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labour so as to produce economic value[3]. Obviously, through this definition and when reading pertinent literature[4] about the subject, one can easily understand the feeling of uneasiness that befalls us as there is always a slight thought or “after taste” comparing humans with machines and other production factors. Human capital becomes in a way substitutable which adds a certain insecurity to the discussion.

But, as we will all agree, human beings and individuals are more than a mere “factor of production” and one thing is for sure: (…)the loss in productivity and time when a valuable employee leaves, as well as the expense related to retraining (…)”[5] are huge and nowadays this is more and more noticed. As a consequence job-hopping becomes a fear of every employer. Moving forward, organizations are now making efforts to identify talented managers as early as possible, in order to devote time and resources for their ongoing development and motivation.

As a leader, you too can make a real difference as to a certain extent, you are able to create the conditions that allow qualified staff members to feel at ease at their workplace and identify with the corporate culture. By “leading through example” you can foster a climate of trust and transparency, allowing for growth and personal satisfaction. A “happy” employee will be less likely to accept other competitive job offers that he/she will most certainly receive during his/her career. Intrinsic motivation can be far more powerful than extrinsic motivation and the key lies in your hand, as a proactive and empathic leader!

[2] See German speaking literature like for example: http://www.harvardbusinessmanager.de/heft/artikel/a-622148.html

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital

[4] See for example articles from Gary Weber who carried out an extension of the applicability of economic theory in his analysis of relations among individuals outside of the market system.