Employee Engagement is a buzzword that has been around for several years now and has gained varying levels of traction in organisations. From the work that we have done in this area over the last decade we have identified a spectrum of approaches to this issue.
Some organisations dismiss Employee Engagement as a ‘soft issue’ that delivers no significant additional value to their organisation, or they are just too busy with other priorities and therefore give it little or no real attention.
More organisations; however, recognise the importance of listening to the voice of their employees through conducting semi-annual/annual/bi-annual employee surveys that help them to measure how well they are doing, identifying key issues for some attention or delegating responsibility to departmental managers to address the key topics, in the hope that it will improve the score the following year. This we call Transactional Engagement.
A few organisations; however, are taking this issue to yet another level and using employee engagement as a significant source of competitive advantage. Using the semi-annual/annual/bi-annual survey to measure their progress these organisations are going far beyond the empowerment of individual managers, to the empowerment of all employees within the organisation, from CEO to Individual Contributors, to take responsibility for the part that they play in the overall engagement of the organisation and their individual alignment with its vision and priorities.
There is a growing body of data that is linking improvement in Employee Engagement scores to measured improvements in: revenue, profit, productivity, customer satisfaction, absenteeism, retention, health and safety and overall employee well-being.
One organisation that we worked with over the last two years saw an annual increase in their employee engagement scores of 7.5% and an associated increase in their top line revenue and bottom line profit of 30% each year.
This approach is increasingly becoming known as Transformational Engagement, closely associated with the more commonly known area of Business Transformation. The expanded definition of this area gives a more precise definition: “Business Transformation through improved Employee Engagement”.
An increasing number of senior executives (CEOs/GMs/Business Owners), often in partnership with their heads of the Human Resources function (CHROs and HRDs), are themselves taking charge of this key issues for their organisations, rather than delegating this responsibility to their HR team to look after on their behalf.
In our experience there are few areas so rich, and yet so under-exploited, than that of the potential discretionary contribution that lies in the existing employee population.
So where does your organisation lie on the Employee Engagement Spectrum today? Who is it that is taking responsibility for the engagement of your employees? Perhaps more importantly, is it time to step up a gear and start to fully realise the associated potential benefits that could be yours, both at a personal and organisational level?