What is the business case for employee engagement?
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 there is now (especially following the publication of "The Evidence") a great deal of material which demonstrates in a compelling way the links between employee engagement and business performance. In general terms the business case has been well and truly made.
However, there is an on-going challenge: despite the evidence, many decision makers (especially CEOs and FCOs) continue to say "OK, I get this, I understand that Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury's link engagement to business performance, but how exactly is it going to work for me? Until you can tell me how much of a return WE could make, I don't know how much money, time and effort to invest in engagement".
To help overcome this challenge Digital Opinion's Mark Allison is leading a Special Interest Group within the Engage for Success movement. This SIG brings together the work of E4S Gurus, academics and practitioners who have practical experience in the field. Its aim is to provide organisations and their engagement "champions" with a set of evidence-based approaches, tools and methodologies they can use to create a business case which deals with these objections and overcomes this significant barrier to engagement.
For more information on the work of this group click on this link http://www.engageforsuccess.org/community-events/special-interest-groups/ and then click on Linking engagement to other business metrics.
"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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