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Employees are a company’s greatest asset, they’re your competitive advantage

Andrew O'ShaughnessyAndrew O'Shaughnessy·
Andrew O'Shaughnessy, CEO Poppulo

But they have to feel empowered. There has to be a culture of empowerment.

I never met Anne Mulcahy, the former Xerox CEO who was named one of the most powerful businesswomen in America, and the best business leader. But though we never met, and unknown to each other, we held uncannily similar beliefs about the critical role employees play in the success of any company. We were even saying the same thing, using the same words, she on one side of the Atlantic and me on the other.

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset, they’re your competitive advantage,” she said. It’s precisely the same belief that anybody who has worked with me over many years has heard and will know very well. And it’s at the heart of what Poppulo stands for. It’s even why our own employees chose our company name, which comes from the Latin for people.

Because people are at the heart of everything we do, and we believe that an engaged workforce aligned behind a common purpose can transform the performance of any organization.

In fact it’s a virtuous circle: having employees who are engaged is the single most effective way of achieving results, reaching goals and being successful. And reaching those goals reinforces employee engagement further because people know and feel the integral part they played in achieving that success. That’s a culture that people want to be part of and are attracted to.

I believe great communications holds the key to creating positive cultures and employee engagement. I know of situations where problems have arisen in companies, real practical difficulties, and members of their own staff had the skill and knowledge to fix the problems, but poor communication meant they hadn’t even been made aware of them in the first place.

This is not uncommon, nor is the situation of employees feeling unempowered to suggest better ways of doing things, because of a poor company culture that inevitably results in poor engagement. On the other hand, open and effective communication can have a transformative impact.
Research proves it’s true, with Willis Towers Watson reporting that companies with highly effective employee communications are likely to outperform their peers by a factor of 3.5.

There is increasing awareness around the imperative of creating a working environment where employees feel empowered. And with the global shortage of skilled talent, this requirement will become even more forcefully concentrated.

In its 2016 international survey, the Manpower Group reported the highest global shortage in skilled talent in over a decade. Of over 42,000 employers surveyed, 40% reported difficulties in filling roles.

The ability to attract and retain the best people is frustrating the growth, expansion and success of companies all over the world, across all business sectors. It creates an even greater imperative for employers to ensure employees are involved and engaged.

It puts the importance of internal communications center stage, so it’s an exciting time to be working in this space, as it increasingly becomes part of the strategic function in organizations everywhere..

Here at Poppulo, we’re energized about our leading role in making that happen, and continuing to help great companies become even greater by releasing the power of their people.

We call it success from within. And here’s to yours.

Andrew O’Shaughnessy,
Founder and CEO, Poppulo


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