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Feature Story

August 2016

Workers Want Insight on How They Affect Bottom Line

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We know that one of the keys to engagement is workers understanding their impact on the success of the organization. That's why it should come as no surprise that a majority of workers want more information about how they contribute to the company's bottom line.

New research from Robert Half Management Resources reveals that many professionals would like more information about how their efforts contribute to the company's bottom line. While nearly half of workers in the survey reported that they are always able to see the connection between their duties and their firm's performance, the majority (53 percent) also said they want greater insights. Fourteen percent of those polled noted they rarely or never see how their work affects the organization.

The findings uncovered different sentiments among age groups. Some 59 percent of professionals 55 and older consistently see how their work contributes to the company's bottom line, but just 38 percent of those between 35 and 54 agreed. Some 44 percent of those ages 18 to 34 said they are able to make the association between their efforts and organizational performance; this group is also the most likely to seek a greater understanding.

Workers were asked, "How frequently, if at all, are you able to make the connection between your day-to-day duties and how they contribute to the company's bottom line." Some 47 percent responded "Always," while 39 percent said "Sometimes." Another 9 percent said they "Rarely" are able to make such a connection, and 5 percent said "Never."

Workers were also asked, "Do you wish you had more insight into the effects of your contributions on your company's bottom line?" Some 53 percent of respondents said "Yes."

"Employees who see the direct correlation between their contributions and company performance are more engaged, make better spending decisions, and can identify new ways to increase productivity and growth," said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "It is concerning that so many workers who are 35 to 54—a group that often serves as managers and top executives—lack a complete understanding of how their responsibilities help their organizations' bottom line."

Hird added that Generation Y and Generation Z professionals prioritize feedback and connecting their roles to a larger purpose. "Millennials commonly crave insights on their performance and how it impacts the firm. Managers who do not have regular conversations with staff about how their work affects the company are missing a major opportunity to develop ideas for improving the business."

Robert Half Management Resources highlights three ways employers can incorporate connecting individual roles to the bottom line into their staffing management:

  • Don't stop at the top. Discussions about company performance and goals should happen with staff members at all levels. Understanding how their role contributes to the organization can help employees boost their own performance.
  • Make the discussions ongoing. Managers should look for opportunities such as staff meetings, performance reviews and regular check-ins to communicate how individuals' contributions benefit the business.
  • Tap external perspectives. Check with network contacts and consultants for their insights on how the company is faring and to learn best practices from other firms.