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An Engaged Employee is the Elusive "Holy Grail"

Irvine, CA, March 14, 2014 --( Engaged employees are like fuel to a company’s growth, and those who aren’t (engaged) make everything move in slow motion, according to Ken Gibson, senior vice president of The VisionLink Advisory Group, a compensation consulting firm headquartered in Irvine, CA. As a result, engagement is one of the Holy Grails in business.

“Every organization seeks engagement in its workforce,” the compensation consultant explained. “However, most company leaders can’t define it and don’t feel they’re achieving it. They know it when they see it, though…and they know it’s what’s missing when the business fails to reach its potential.”

The opposite of engagement is entitlement, Gibson asserts. “Entitled employees just compound the frustration. Not only are they not engaged, their attitude of expecting value without creating it is absolutely draining.”

For an employee to transition from entitlement to engagement, a company must address what the VisionLink principal refers to as “The Three ‘Cs’.” Engagement occurs when an employee feels:

1. Compelled–an employee is captivated by the organization’s future and sees how his unique ability can contribute to its fulfillment. This is about shared vision and values.
2. Clear–employees have clarity about the business model and strategy that will fulfill the company vision, what roles they have in that plan, what’s expected of them in those roles, and how they will be rewarded if they fulfill those expectations.
3. Connected–employees feel a sense of partnership with company owners. Whether or not equity is shared, they understand there is an organizational philosophy about value creation and sharing that is fair. As a result, all stakeholders feel connected.

The compensation firm leader will discuss how to make the transition from an entitlement mentality to one of engagement in an upcoming webinar on March 25, 2014 entitled, “What to Do When Your Employees Act Entitled.” Registration for the free broadcast can be accessed at:

“Companies that use compensation as the strategic tool it is intended to be see rewards as one means of smoothing and reinforcing the path to engagement,” Gibson says. “For example, they might offer employees a long-term incentive plan that fosters a shared purpose between ownership and the workforce. Its payout metrics are tied to a combination of company-wide performance, team or department performance and individual performance. That kind of approach nourishes a culture of contribution–because everyone has a financial stake. If I fail in my stewardship, it doesn’t just impact me—and if you slow down, I am also affected.”

According to the compensation expert, leadership should examine its current practices through a kind of reverse engineering process. It starts by asking whether the workforce is currently, as a whole, manifesting outward signs of engagement (focus, commitment and shared purpose). If not, it should then ask what can be done to promote a compelling vision, create greater clarity and enable the sense of connection and partnership that are foundational to engagement. In the process, it should be sure to ask itself whether current compensation practices are more or less likely to promote the outcomes just discussed.

Gibson further stated that business leaders wishing to hear more about how to move their employees from a mindset of entitlement to one of engagement should attend the webinar on March 25.
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The VisionLink Advisory Group
Ken Gibson

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