Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Will Engaged Employees Bring ROI?

Employee engagement is one of the top concerns for HR leaders nowadays. Several studies show that an engaged and happy workforce can improve a company’s overall health and financial performance through increased productivity and efficiency.

This may seem like an obvious connection: An employee who feels valued by their employer produces better work for the company and ultimately for its customers. Based on the recent results of the Tempkin Employee Engagement Study, 75% of employees at companies  reporting better-than-average customer experience levels are highly or moderately engaged, while only 34% of employees in companies with lesser customer experience levels are highly or moderately engaged. “Along with high levels of performance and productivity, high employee engagement positively impacts retention levels; therefore companies with a highly engaged workforce gain the advantage of a reduction in replacement costs.  

However, most employees, managers and unfortunately too many HR professionals still confuse satisfaction with engagement; or at least they aren't sufficiently acquainted with the drivers and outcomes of both. And these drivers are different! stated Sandra Vandorpe, VP Team Leader, Belgacom Solution Centre, in an interview with Kakushin. This is why it is difficult to measure the real impact of employee engagement initiatives on business results and to compare the achieved results with industry benchmarks.

But where is the problem?

There is often the belief that: employee satisfaction survey = employee engagement survey = engagement initiative ...
... but the truth is that the set of actions that come as a result of the survey truly impact engagement; employee satisfaction is just part of this result.

Conducting an employee survey is easy, as is collecting  and reviewing the results. But then the real work starts: sharing results and taking action. And that doesn‘t seem very successful in many companies.

The Tempkin Employee Engagement Study demonstrated that less than half of the firms included in the study place a high priority on taking action based on employee feedback even though a majority of the respondents claimed that they measure employee engagement:
  • Ninety-four percent of respondents (from nearly 200 large organisations) measure employee engagement and two-thirds measure it at least annually.
  • Only 43 percent of respondents believe that their executive team highly prioritises taking action based on employee engagement feedback.
  • The top obstacles to improving employee engagement are an unclear employee engagement strategy and inconsistent buy-in among middle managers.

Is this situation familiar to you? Even though the connection is obvious between employee engagement and organisational productivity and performance in your company, the human capital in your firm remains one of your least analysed investments This, coupled with the fact that any “action” to improve engagement must be implemented company-wide, makes it difficult to bring measurable levels of ROI.

Don't waste your time and money. Invest in your people wisely; otherwise the costs of  employee engagement programmes can outweigh the benefits. Learn more with Kakushin

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