The link between employee engagement and business performance is now irrefutable, but the cultural norm of motivating workers beyond their pay check is a relatively new concept.
When manual labour made up the best part of the job market, there was less – if any – call for organisational alignment or positive managerial relations.
However, in today’s technology-driven world the average role demands a higher level of psychological wellbeing to be performed to a decent standard. In a business space fixated on ROI and metrics, people managers often come up against stoppers when attempting to prove this to the board. If the initiative costs, you’ll need evidence of returns.
Providing this evidence doesn’t have to be difficult – you’ll just have to speak their language. Without labouring its ‘realness’ or the psychological evidence in favour of the concept, you’ll need to communicate that employee engagement is a financial imperative.
Step 1. Demonstrate its impact on overall business performance
It’s a big claim, but one that can appeal to the logic of even the most frugal c-suiter. Engaged employees think beyond their personal and team targets, towards shared organisational objectives. This style of goal alignment strengthens leadership and creates flexibility; with a mobilised team working towards shared objectives, organisations can execute strategy faster and with more agility.
Our latest research project found that just 41% of UK employees feel aligned with their organisations’ goals, yet all but 13% said they wanted to feel more aligned. Therefore it isn’t that employees are against their employers, it’s that employers aren’t doing enough to help their employees get on board with the common goal. Point out that pay increases are rarely an economically viable solution (an assertion we think they’ll agree with), and that engagement programmes do more to recognise loyalty and encourage this ‘bigger picture’ mentality.
Step 2. Show the potential savings on recruitment and retraining
The Telegraph recently reported that recruitment and retraining costs the UK £4bn a year, so this is perhaps the most financially significant argument for investing in your current – and potential – employees. Our own research adds credence to this estimation, as it found that over a third of the UK workforce are likely to leave their roles within a year.
Calculate how much that would cost your company. If it feels unrealistic, slash the number by half – it’ll still raise eyebrows.
But the case doesn’t stop with retention. Engaged employees are more likely to refer their personal networks, in doing so streamlining your recruitment processes. The readiness of employees to get their friends and associates on board is a good litmus test of overall company culture.
Step 3. Arm yourself with numbers
Data is a key component of an HR professional’s arsenal. To help get the conversation on the table, we recently published the whitepaper Tackling the UK’s disengagement problem: How to boost retention and increase return on employee engagement investment.
We surveyed thousands of demographically diverse employees to explore their common pain points, wider alignment issues, and levels of loyalty to their companies. The resulting guide provides readers with the inside track on how to address these pain points, increase alignment, and avoid the devastating costs of recruitment and retraining.
Happy employees perform better and stick around for longer. Recognising their personal investment is the simplest route to supporting that happiness, and building a more productive company culture.
To learn more about using employee engagement to boost company performance, download the full report hidden behind the image below.
- By Mina Pampus, blogger and employee happiness evangelist at Perkbox
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