Career & Education

Employee satisfaction = productivity = profitability

Launching Leaders

Debra Fraser

Sunday, May 05, 2019

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The jury's still out on whether family-owned businesses are better run or are indeed more attractive as an employer of choice for aspiring workers. Certainly, being a privately run enterprise has the advantage of being nimble, where decision-making is concerned, and it doesn't have the bureaucracy of board meetings and shareholders' discontent to deal with. However, the access to external funding through IPOs, and the exponential growth that usually accompanies going public, provides attractive benefits for owners willing to give up some to get a lot. Either way, we see many examples of mom & pop operations with that personal touch become full-fledged regional or international powerhouses often sacrificing that individual attention to both customers and employees alike. Like everything else, you usually have to give up something to gain.

Employee Welfare

If we call a spade a spade, the reason we work is to make a living, and we do that by exchanging our time and expertise for an agreed rate of compensation — our salaries. So, despite the evolution of business philosophy to make employee satisfaction a core component of most organisations' structure and strategy, executing employee well-being programmes successfully often requires more work and commitment than most of them bank on. Often, this is a result of insufficient funding or trained human resources personnel to adequately cater to the size of their workforce, as many companies still see HR not so much as a department as much as a necessary expense.

It may require the services of a HR consultancy firm, even in the initial stages, to create the system and structure to facilitate internal team members assuming that role in a prescribed time. Not being properly equipped can mean the difference between being prepared to anticipate and meet staff members' expectations for recognition and special occasion programmes, and even unintentionally eroding their morale because they forgot to acknowledge Mother's Day, for example. In fact, equal importance ought to be given to observance of core staff benefits to include non-traditional affairs like daycare amenities and not just maternal, but paternal leave. It's a proven fact that employees who feel like they're a part of the company family tend to treat their approach to work similarly, with gusto and dedication. And that usually results in better bottom-line numbers.

It's interesting that even with all the supporting data, so many medium and large organisations remain hesitant to even consider making strategic decisions regarding optimising their employees' levels of productivity. In plain English, they refuse to recognise the direct correlation between employee satisfaction, productivity and profitability. It's not even close to rocket science; just basic maths. This just proves that there's a significant mental block against what HR management is, and what benefits partnering with a HR services provider can have in the absence of an HR department. But even at a qualitative level, the premium customer service experience motivated and engaged employees provide to clients, is the engine that creates happy and faithful customers, which is always good for business.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin' up!

Debra Fraser, MBA is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and a member of the Society of Human Resources Management in the US. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com


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