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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Total Employee Involvement

Lean is not a system of individuals but rather a mindset of engaging all our human resources on customer focused activities. Management is the key to achieving total employee involvement. The Campbell Soup Company is a great example of how engaging your employees can change the orgnaization culture resulting in extraordinary financial performance.

In a recent interview of Campbell's CEO, Douglas Conant he shared his thoughts and strategies on employee engagement.

The strategy isn't complicated. "To win in the marketplace," he has said, "we believe you must first win in the workplace. I'm obsessed with keeping employee engagement front and center and keeping up energy around it."

Conant explained the second pillar of TPS, “Respect for People” well with the Campbell Promise, "Campbell valuing people, people valuing Campbell." He applied the Broken Window Theory by removing the barb wire fence surrounding the facility. They made employee engagement everyone’s first priority and they reward high performers.

Gallup, the polling and research firm, studied the engagement levels of Campbell’s managers in 2002 and found that not only did 62% of them consider themselves not actively engaged in their jobs, a full 12% felt they were actively disengaged. Those numbers, Conant says, were the worst for any Fortune 500 firm ever polled. Today, the story is far different: 68% of all Campbell employees say they are actively engaged, and just 3% say they are actively disengaged. That's an engagement ratio of 23-to-1, and Gallup considers 12 to one to be world-class.

This is an inspiring example of total employee involvement. What is the engagement level of your organization? How do you engage employees?

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