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What is the business case for employee engagement?

The business case

For many business leaders the links between employee engagement and business performance are self-evident. When asked which measurements "give the best sense of a company's health" former GE Chairman and CEO Jack Welch replied:

"Employee engagement first. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it. That's why you need to take the measure of employee engagement at least once a year through anonymous surveys in which people feel completely safe to speak their minds."

Sentiments echoed by Sir Richard Branson:

"We embarked on consciously building Virgin into a brand which stood for quality, value, fun and a sense of challenge. We also developed these ideas in the belief that our first priority should be the people who work for the companies, then the customers, then the shareholders. Because if the staff are motivated then the customers will be happy, and the shareholders will then benefit through the company's success."

For some business leaders however the links are not self-evident. They still need to see the business case. The good news is that since the publication of a seminal study in the Harvard Business review in 1994 and the subsequent service - profit chain model developed by Sears, Roebuck and Co. the engagement question has generated a large number of studies from academics, consultancies and individual organisations. (See our Resource Centre).

This research conducted across a wide range of industries supports the findings of the Sears model and confirms that 'there is a chain of cause and effect running from employee behaviour to customer behaviour to profits.'

So the real challenge is not proof, but application. How do you link engagement to performance in your company and establish the chain of cause and effect? If it's a question that being asked in your Company we should speak. The approach we've developed with other companies might well work for you.

"The more engaged our employees are, the better our sales
performance will be, resulting in an impact in profitability.
So now it's a no brainer not to do this every year.
Mitchells & Butlers


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Resource Centre

Read the latest articles, reports and research papers on employee engagement. At Digital Opinion we're committed to providing our readers with a rich source of engagement information to support their goals.

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