Want to Drive the Bottom Line? It Takes Getting People Processes Right

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I’ve written fairly often on research showing the connection between employee engagement or employee enablement and the bottom line.

Thanks to a post on OnlineHumanResources.net, I now know about research making the connection between people processes of all kinds and the bottom line impact.

The Boston Consulting Group and the World Federation of People Management Associations published “From Capability to Profitability: Realizing the Value of People Management” in July. Here are some key take-aways:

Bottom line impact from getting people processes right

Companies that are highly capable in 22 key HR topics consistently enjoyed better economic performance than those less capable. In several topics, this correlation was striking – up to 3.5 times the revenue growth and as much as 2.1 times the average profit margin. The high performers differentiated themselves dramatically in three of the most important topics: leadership development, talent management, and performance management and rewards… And unlike their less-successful peers, they clearly define performance norms and standards and adopt them enterprisewide.”

Leadership differentiators

Linking performance and expectations to your core values makes better leaders. And those better leaders are promoted into positions of leadership based on how well they live the values. Doing so makes your company more profitable.

[High performing companies] are 1.5 times more likely to have in place a leadership model that describes expected contributions and behavior that is grounded in company values. Such models go beyond clichés, offering actionable guidelines that inspire leaders – and that leaders aspire to – daily. Their leadership model guides talent selection and promotion decisions – 1.7 times as often as low-performing companies.”

Performance management differentiators

People clearly understand what is expected of them, daily. And these are standard across the globe for one-company focus on acceptable behaviors and outcomes.

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High-performing companies understand the importance of a well-constructed, balanced performance-management system in motivating and developing employees… They have clear norms that drive performance – 2.6 times as often as low-performing companies. Employees understand clearly what constitutes superior performance and, just as clearly, what is unacceptable… High-performing companies have global performance management standards in place 2.2 times as often as low-performing ones.”

Recognize “How,” not just “What”

This is a central best practice for truly strategic, social employee recognition based on core values. It doesn’t matter what you accomplish if you do so in a way that violates core values.

In all the activities we studied, high performing companies reward behavior, not just results, to a greater degree than low-performing companies.”

Where would you score on “people practices?”  Are you driving as much value to the bottom line as you should?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.


1 Comment on “Want to Drive the Bottom Line? It Takes Getting People Processes Right

  1. Hi Derek.  Thanks for sharing.  I think a company’s true values are revealed by the actions of its employees and leaders.  I suspect the lower performing company’s have a value system that prioritizes results over people, perhaps with an “everyone for themselves” attitude.  If the values change (either for better or worse), the processes will follow.

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