Employees are a business owner’s largest expense, and a massive source of wasted time and money in most companies. The ability to attract and retain great people separates thriving businesses from struggling ones.

Engaged people amplify business effectiveness, but according to research, most people are not engaged. That’s a tragedy, especially when we consider that everyone enjoys engaging work. When engaged, we’re at our best. Our work engulfs us. Time flies by. There’s no space for boredom, anxiety, or worry. Engaged employees are more productive and creative because they love their work. They treat people better. Engagement makes the company stronger.

According to the data, companies are not seeing people’s full capabilities. Essentially, they are maybe getting fifty cents of contribution for every payroll dollar they spend. That’s crazy!

Disengagement also provokes quitting, which imposes the following unwanted costs:

  • Covering job duties
  • Recruiting a replacement
    • Writing & managing ads
    • Wading through responses
    • Scheduling & interviewing
  • Onboarding & training new people
  • Fixing mistakes & missteps stemming from lost knowledge
  • Juggling the backlog that piles up

Every moment spent replacing someone shrivels the bottom line.

An engaging work environment can’t be commanded or forced. It must be cultivated. Maximum contribution is the prize and it bestows a generous advantage on the business owner that achieves it!

Engagement is cultivated by focusing on three Ps:

  1. Purpose: Get clear about why the business exists and what you stand for.
  2. People: Hire the right people, put them in the right places, and get out of their way.
  3. Progress: Define success and make progress visible.

Purpose is the bedrock of your company. It’s about articulating why your company exists and what you stand for. Connecting people to the purpose ignites passion and empowers everyone to clearly see the things that fit, as wells as those that don’t.

People are attracted to passion. Everyone wants to be part of something larger than themselves. Getting clear on purpose makes your company a magnet for people who are excited by its purpose. The company becomes a way for hopeful employees, customers, and partners to express who they are and what they care about. Hiring, sales, and marketing are all much easier when people are attracted to your company.

The third P, progress, is about defining success. Making progress visible feeds motivation. It keeps everyone in the game and focused on winning. Without a way to “keep score”, engagement evaporates. Efforts quickly feel futile. People need to know if they’re ahead or behind every single week.

Get these three Ps right and you’ll be amazed at how much easier running the business gets.

Feature photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash