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Making intangibles tangible

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Q: After a decade of military service, I am familiar with the importance of intangibles like morale and personal growth. In fact, I am developing a consulting company that will focus on developing these intangibles while capitalising on the growing trend of corporate fitness. The biggest challenge I face is trying to effectively translate the intangible into the tangible in order to build a client base. How do you measure intangibles in your businesses? How might I help other companies to see that investing in their human capital will pay bottom-line dividends? 

Remy LeGuin



Success in business requires an understanding of all sorts of intangibles, especially the most enjoyable parts of work, like co-operating as a team and keeping morale high. Your goal of making businesses more profitable by helping employees to achieve their full potential is a great one, and could be very rewarding. To move ahead, you have some research to do and choices to make.


Here’s some data that might help: 


A recent Gallup study found that worldwide, only 13 per cent of employees feel engaged at work. The research also found that companies in the top quartile for engaged employees, compared with the bottom quartile, had 22 per cent higher profitability, ten per cent higher customer ratings and 48 per cent fewer safety incidents.


How can companies increase engagement? An insightful New York Times article by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath included a survey of more than 12,000 employees that identified four drivers: physical (having the opportunity to recharge); emotional (feeling valued); mental (having the ability to work autonomously); and spiritual (feeling connected to a higher purpose).