Mergers are becoming increasingly popular today for various reasons, including the desire for to share costs and gain a competitive market share. Often there is a great deal of resources spent in planning and implementing the merger itself. Combining processes, technologies, protocols and creating positive public and client communications about the merger tend to be the priority. What can truly optimize the success of the merger is to also utilize this time to design and build an organizational culture that will achieve and support the goals of the visionaries who created it.
One measurement of a successful culture is employee engagement.
An employee is defined as engaged when they understand what to do to help their company succeed, is emotionally connected to the organization and is willing to optimize their performance as well as that of the company they work for.
According to recent studies only 27% of US employees are engaged. What this means is that in a company of 100 employees, 27 are committed to their work and loyal to the company, 59 are not engaged, 14 just show up and wait for time to pass. The good news is that 41% of the disengaged are “enrolled” meaning with a bit focus they too can become engaged employees. Lack of employee engagement results in poor customer service outcomes and erodes performance in many areas affecting overall profitability.
Successful organizations are putting added focus on building a performance based culture.
They focus on creating the guiding principles for their organization and activating the ten key employee engagement drivers’ rather than focusing on problem solving in one area alone.
Why be concerned with employee engagement? Many, if not most, mergers fail because the human and operational sides of integration are overlooked: The two merging organizations do not systematically plan how to build on and integrate people and their cultures. Unfortunately culture beats out strategy any day. If people do not stand behind the strategy the best of strategies either fail or do not reach their full potential for success.
There is direct correlation between employee engagement and desirable business outcomes such as retention of talent, customer service, individual performance, team performance, business unit productivity, and even enterprise-level financial performance. (Conference Board).
Just as you spent money, time and resources in planning your merger, you have an opportunity build a high performance based culture, building trust within your new organization and aligning employees with the new culture as it is being formed. The process of doing so is to 1) define your top key values as an organization, these are values that are unique to your brand and contribute to the financial success of your organization 2) identify the behaviors that emulate these values and 3) integrate and communicate these behaviors in your hiring screening process, company orientation, operations and performance reviews. It is one thing to spend an exciting day creating values; it is another to put them into operation.
For example if your value is to achieve credibility by being a trusted advisor/business partner for your clients and prospects you would expect your staff to research organizational before they call upon them, to ask their prospects about their most pressing needs and then and only then start to describe how your organization can help. You would continue to add value long after the sale is made and develop long term referring relationships with your clients as well.
Don’t leave money on the table create a rally cry for your culture and engage employees to bring it forward.
Why expand the focus? Engaged employees are 85% less likely to leave their place of employment, reducing attrition. They are focused on having a positive impact on the organization, 88% work hard to optimize customer service, 72% focus on building customer loyalty and 68% want to take a stake in improving cost control and positively impacting the bottom line. How can these numbers affect your bottom line?
To learn more about the key strategies for developing a values driven organization contact Debora at OpenDoorCoaching.com.