I was recently attending a business event and I was conversing with a gentleman who happened to be the head of human resources of his company, he was sharing with me that among his employees 15 percents were top performers. I happened to have in mind the statistics by Gallup of the level of employees engagement worldwide (13 percents) and I was struck by how similar these two figures were …
Could it be that top performers are not always exceptionally skilled but simply more motivated individuals ? Could motivation be the main lever to efficiency ? It is commonly agreed that a motivated person performs better but then why are on average four-fifths of employees not engaged worldwide ?
The answer may partly lie in the fact that when hiring or evaluating employees the focus is mainly on skills. Simply think about a typical hiring process assessing diplomas, past experience, professional references, trainings, knowledge, abilities, mental preferences, IQ and sometimes EQ, … Same type of things for the yearly evaluation with the “what” and the “how”. Motivation is rarely in scope, here is why: if skills assessment is (relatively) factual and tangible, assessing motivation is not.
Another part of the answer lies in the fact that the proportion of disengaged people – a staggering 85 % ! – is too high for the causes to be specific to each individual, there necessarily exists some company historical and environmental causes. Increasing a company overall efficiency implies to accept this idea.
Employees engagement has a direct and substantial influence on a company overall efficiency and consequently one of the paths of choice to improve a company functioning is to:
- Evaluate the level of motivation of its employees
- Understand the historical and environmental causes responsible of this high proportion of disengagement
- Identify who is engaged and who is not.
What is important to remember is that a minority of a company’s employees is actually motivated and that these individuals are the foundation of company’s efficiency. It is crucial to keep and empower them so they can influence and motivate others.