In an economic downturn, employees become anxious and look to leadership for feelers on the financial stability and future of the organization. This is a critical time where CEOs have to participate with the staff in greater measure to instill confidence, security and assurance. In short, employee engagement (which is always of essence) becomes a paramount factor that will tide your organization through choppy waters.
Let’s look at how some CEOs have turned around the fortunes of their companies by focusing on the key element that drives innovation, growth, revenue and organizational commitment – employee engagement. Let’s also look at how enterprise mobile solutions like DRONA Mobile make 100% engagement possible.
In the decade following 1980, Continental Airlines took a big hit with falling stock prices, customer dissatisfaction, high employee attrition, 10 CEOs in 10 years, and a total lack of professional pride among employees. Gordon Bethune, who joined the company in 1994, quickly narrowed down on the problem – zero employee engagement. He took some quick measures including:
- Consistent and constant communication with employees
- Instilling professional pride by conveying the importance of job roles in achieving business goals
- Getting “stuck in” – mixing with employees at all levels to collect feedback
- Sharing organization’s profit with employees via staff bonuses
All these measures had the company earning $250m in profit and being voted ‘best place to work’ for 6 consecutive years.
Robert Polet, CEO of Gucci Group, talks about “keeping organization’s talent engaged, motivated, and focused on the right goals by fostering creativity at every level of the organization.” According to him, an economic slowdown is a good time to bring top performers to the forefront and assign them strategic roles that help them and the organization perform better. At no other time is CEO communication more critical.
DRONA Mobile is an enterprise mobile engagement solution that enables CEOs to communicate with employees via their personal smartphones and tablets. CEO videos on organizational performance, adaptive short-term measures to maintain performance, and other immediate or ongoing issues can be delivered to employees in real time or on schedule. CEOs can launch polls, surveys and questionnaires that give employees a chance to directly interact with him or her, and send their feedback, suggestions and ideas. The mobile platform can be used as a collaborative forum for exchange of ideas and informal thoughts via a variety of digital content.
According to a 2009 case study on a multi-national financial services company, compiled by HR and Financial Services consulting company Towers Watson: The strength of the employee bond with the organization can influence willingness to exert maximum effort for the company, the decision of key talent to stay or leave, and ultimately a company’s financial success. They report that engagement affects business performance (directly or indirectly) in the following ways:
- Positive employee opinion drives higher sales
- Positive employee opinion drives positive customer opinions
- Positive customer opinions, in turn also drive higher sales
Research conducted by Gallup brings out the fact that improving employee engagement links to improvements in crucial business outcomes (customer ratings, profitability, productivity, and quality) and reductions in others (safety incidents, shrinkage, and absenteeism).
Enterprise mobility makes employee engagement easier yet more effective. Don’t miss out on this chance.