How to Value People as Your Most Important Resource

How to Value People as Your Most Important Resource
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Value People as Your Most Important Resource — It Matters

Over the last sixteen years, we have surveyed over seven million people across over one-hundred thousand organizations with our Best Places to Work Employee Engagement Survey.  When it comes to creating greater levels of employee engagement and retention, two types of questions matter most across all industries, geographies, and company sizes:

  • Feeling Valued
    Engagement questions that are related to employees feeling valued and invested in
  • Leadership Trust
    Engagement questions that are related to employees trusting leaders and the company’s direction

In fact, these employee engagement questions have a 76% correlation to higher levels of discretionary effort, employee advocacy, and intent to stay.  For perspective, questions related to employee benefits have a 49% correlation and questions related to fair pay have a 60% correlation to greater levels of employee engagement — both significantly lower than feeling valued and trusting leadership.

And companies with higher levels of Feeling Valued and Leadership Trust report 18% greater productivity, 12% higher client satisfaction, and 51% less voluntary turnover.

Do Your Leaders Value People as Their Most Important Resource?
Because people costs significantly outweigh capital costs in most industries today, more companies are touting the claim that they consider their employees as their most valuable asset.  But do they really put their people before clients?  Before profits?  Before products?

Some Examples of Different Approaches

  • Products First
    Apple seems to put their products first. Their strategy is to produce the most innovative and desired products. They do not appear to put their people first; but they are wildly successful.  If you are a person that appreciates putting innovation and cool products first, Apple is probably a good fit for you.
  • Profits First
    Goldman Sachs is famous for a sales driven culture that puts profits above all else; they are also one of the top firms in their industry. If making money is at the top of your list, Goldman’s approach to people would probably work for you.
  • Customers First
    Amazon is known for putting customer service first; they now dominate consumer retail. If a customer-centric mindset drives you, you probably can’t go wrong with Amazon’s culture.
  • People First
    For six years in a row, Google won Fortune’s Best Company to Work For award; they believe that valuing people as their most important resource really pays off.  Putting people first culturally seems to be working.

Every company must make money.  Every company must satisfy clients.  Every company must have viable offerings.  And every company needs people.

But how many leaders consistently put employees first and translate that claim into visible, tangible, and meaningful actions when push comes to shove?  Regardless of your intentions, employees tell us that most managers don’t know how to effectively demonstrate to their team members that they are valued.

Four Employee Engagement Questions that You Need to Get Right
First, all employees must believe that they are making progress on meaningful work and feel that their contribution is being fairly compensated.  It is incumbent upon managers to see that their employees find their work to be worthwhile and challenging.  And a fair paycheck is certainly the baseline signal of how much a company values an employee’s contribution.

Once you get the basics of pay and work right, here are four questions from when we assess organizational culture to focus on if you want to truly value people as your most important resource:

  1.  The leaders of this organization are committed to making it a great place to work.
  2.  I trust the leaders of this organization to set the right strategic direction.
  3.  I believe this organization will be successful in the future.
  4.  The leaders of the organization value people as their most important resource.

The Bottom Line
Companies who truly see their people as their most important resource make sure that people feel valued and that trust in leadership is high.  If you could change one thing to show that you value people as your most important resource, what would it be?

To learn more about how to value people as your most important resource, download Research Report – The Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Manager Effectiveness

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