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Eight signs of a strong employee economy

By pa360, Apr 18 2015 08:42PM

A strong employee economy is the dynamic engine room of a successful organisation. An employee economy defines the habits, behaviours and routines that drive a business. In particular, it defines the relationships that exist between employees as well as between employees, their employer and the customer. If you are taking active steps to develop your employee economy, here are eight signs to look out for:

1. Goodwill - unlike reciprocity, acts of goodwill are spontaneous and unsolicited. When employees extend goodwill they do so without the explicit expectation of a return. I deal with this subject extensively in my blog 'the goodwill economy'.

2. Teamwork - evidence of a strong team dynamic is when employees work for the team, not just within the team. A strong team economy is one where people freely make their skills & talents available to the group and recognise themselves in the success and failure of others.

3. Ideas generation - where-ever employees feel able to come up with ideas, it always provides good evidence of a vibrant ideas economy and a strong employee engagement culture. An apathetic workforce is far less likely to present ideas, particularly if there is a perception that their ideas will not be taken forward.

4. Delegated decision making - a willingness to delegate decision-making is evidence of an employer's commitment to employee empowerment as well as their confidence in the ability of employees to solve problems. Meanwhile, participation in delegated decision provides evidence of collective accountability and ownership.

5. High retention rates - whenever employees are motivated, energised and stimulated they are more likely to feel a sense of loyalty to their employers. High levels of loyalty are likely to translate into high retention rates. High retention rates enable an organisation to retain the valuable skill and knowledge assets of their workforce.

6. Low sickness absence levels - every organisation keeps its eye on sickness absence rates. This is primarily because sickness absence levels directly impact upon organisational productivity and profit. Needless to say, low sickness absence is often used as a proxy measure of a motivated and productive workforce.

7. High employee satisfaction - high satisfaction is a strong measure of the confidence that employees have in their employers. Higher levels of confidence build trust and provide a dynamic environment for collaborative working.

8. High productivity - a highly productive workforce will meet (and likely exceed) an employers expectations in terms of the quality and quantity of work that it produces. Such a workforce will be highly motivated, adaptive and efficient.

The above measures are by no means exhaustive. But they do provide a useful baseline for pattern spotting, triangulation and temperature checking. Employees are the most valuable capital assets of any organisation. To realise the full potential of their employees, employers must actively invest in their capabilities.

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