A happy person with no skills might be committed to the company, but will not have much value as an employee and will not be able to add much to the success of the business. Likewise a dissatisfied but talented individual will not want to engage.
Both the happy, unskilled worker and the unhappy, skilled worker add a tremendous amount of waste.
The key factor: managers. They are the ones who set the conditions that make or break both job satisfaction and their team’s sense of contribution to the workplace.
The rewards of employee engagement are many. According to a BlessingWhite report, The State of Employee Engagement 2008:
Firms with high employee engagement saw a 28.4% EPS (earnings per share) growth vs. 11.2% decline for low-engagement firms.
JC Penney reported that stores in the top quarter of employee engagement have 10% greater sales and 36% more profit per square foot than those in the lowest quarter.
Best Buy reported that stores with a 2% growth in employee engagement increased sales by $100,000.
According to the report, nearly 50% of employees, regardless of engagement level, said that the top two things that would improve job satisfaction (and consequently employee engagement) were more opportunities or more training—both of which Lean delivers.