Nobody Actually Needs An Employee Engagement Strategy!
I recently wrote a post on LinkedIn highlighting the point that nobody actually needs an employee engagement strategy. Why would they? What is the point? If you’re implementing an employee engagement strategy to tick a box, then you are one of the reasons why most people see the topic as being “fluffy”.
The space of engagement and culture is becoming heavily saturated. This is leading to more people using the buzz phrases but not necessarily understanding the value and purpose of creating an engaged organisation. For me personally there are two assumptions that people make, that really grind my gears, they are:
- Attrition – people seem to think that if you have low attrition then your employees are engaged, performing well and you don’t have a problem… unfortunately you probably do. The reality is that your employees are more than likely comfortable in the business, never challenged and happy to come into work, sit on their phone all day and then go home. What ROI (return on investment) are you receiving from them?
- Happiness – others think that if your employees are happy, then they are engaged… once again no! Happiness comes with positive physical and mental wellbeing. Engagement is to be present, productive and go above and beyond what is expected.
Leadership teams seem to take two stances in relation to employee engagement. Some think that it’s fluffy, doesn’t have a tangible ROI and is a “nice to have”. Others seem to implement engagement strategies to tick a compliance box, so that they can talk about “putting their people first”.
In my personal opinion there’s no point in investing into your people unless you have some clearly defined outcomes, just like you would in any project. Usually it’s easiest to categorise these outcomes into Retention, Engagement, Development and Attraction – all of which are interlinked.
TIP: Begin To Measure People Metrics
- If you are not doing so already, then begin to measure people metrics, as they can affect performance or costs. E.g…
- Attrition – on average it costs small businesses £11,000 to lose an employee and that’s not even at management level – I don’t need to finish this sentence… is engagement still fluffy?
- Absence – disengaged businesses and high absenteeism go hand in hand… how can you expect to perform well if people are not present?
- Time to hire – an improved internal culture, directly impacts an organisations ability to recruit. Filling positions quicker, should lead to higher business productivity.
So, what are some of the business challenges that an engagement strategy can influence? Firstly, the metrics discussed above directly impact costs and performance, all three can be influenced by how engaged your people are – attrition, absence and time to hire.
Why Should Leadership Teams Care About Engagement?
Most importantly engagement can talk in a leadership teams language too. I have a sum for you, that is that simple it doesn’t seem real…
Typically your employees are managing relationships with your customers. If your employees are engaged, then productivity will increase. When productivity increases, typically so will performance. Both have an influence on the service offered to customers, which can impact customer satisfaction. If customers are more satisfied they’re more than likely going to make repeat purchases, refer you to people they know or provide case studies… IT IS THAT SIMPLE.
It is also important to remember that employee engagement doesn’t exist just to solve business problems, it can also open up opportunities. For example: innovation can increase, managers become leaders and you become an employer of choice.
People do not need an Employee Engagement strategy – they need to solve business problems, some of which can be influenced by creating an engaged organisation!
Thanks for reading my blog today. If you want some free tips or want to learn more about some of the benefits of creating an engaged organisation then please get in touch. I can also provide an insight into what other organisations are doing to ensure that they drive performance and manage costs, via creating an engaged business.
As usual happy to answer questions and would appreciate any likes/shares/comments.
Client Relationship and Delivery Consultant