How many businesses are there in the world? Estimates range from 100 million to double that and more. It’s almost impossible to come up with an accurate tally as the answer will be different now to what it would have been when you started reading this post. Something that can be said for certain is that no two enterprises are the same, each one possessing its own DNA suffused by its founder, its workers, its environment and its focus.
Given all this, it’s perhaps surprising that there is one thing that unites all businesses with employees around the world – the paramount importance and undisputed value of having an engaged workforce. Whether it’s a social enterprise in India or a major manufacturer in Indiana, the degree to which employees are engaged by their organisation will have an unparalleled impact on the success, or otherwise, of the business.
Some numbers to back that up? Research from Towers Perrin revealed that low levels of employee engagement resulted in a 33% decrease in operating income and an 11% decrease in earnings growth. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of businesses are realising they can’t afford not to invest in an employee engagement solution.
We know that even the most important investments need to be justified by a business case. Different organisations approach this in different ways, so we have come up with 6 compelling points that should resonate with every business and help convince even the most sceptical of sceptics that employee engagement should be at the top of the pile for investment:
- Increase productivity levels throughout the organisation
There is a wealth of research that shows that happy employees are productive employees. Insight from Gallup reveals that business units where employees are highly engaged report a 41% reduction in absenteeism coupled with a 17% increase in productivity. Employee engagement enables this by giving all employees a voice and a way to make it heard. Slow burning issues that might otherwise not have been on the radar of senior management can be reported, validated and resolved before they have a chance to negatively impact the bottom line. Similarly, opportunities can be flagged up, assessed and implemented giving the organisation a competitive advantage over rivals who don’t have such a highly engaged workforce. Engaged employees feel valued and will radiate that brand positivity to existing and potential customers. Unengaged employees will typically have the opposite impact.
- Increase customer satisfaction
When your employees are positively engaged they instinctively want to go the extra mile for the customer. They understand the goals the organisation is striving for, the importance of their efforts towards that and the critical importance of delivering complete satisfaction to each customer. This can manifest itself in improved service delivery, customer-focused process innovation or new product development that perfectly encapsulates the customer need. Engaged employees understand the importance of being customer-centric and are diligent about keeping themselves and the organisation on the right path. Satisfied customers are not only loyal, they will also look favourably on your premium products whilst also becoming your advocates in the market place.
- Reduce your costs
Engaged employees are typically loyal to their organisation. They look to improve and flourish within the organisation rather than seeking new opportunities elsewhere. This is great for both personal and corporate morale, but also great at reducing costs associated with filling vacancies and training new employees to the standards you require. An engaged workforce is a stable workforce. The cost to the organisation of 6-8 weeks of low productivity from new employees can be massively reduced by retaining your existing workers.
- Own the narrative
In all areas of life today there are endless ways for people to communicate with each other. It’s increasingly the same in the workplace as it is in the home. In the workplace this certainly has its positives. Employees around the world can discuss complex challenges without the concerns of international call rates. Special project groups can be set up to improve coordination and expedite delivery. But there is a downside too. Employee cliques can form and those on the outside can feel excluded. Applications that are not enterprise grade, and come with all the associated risks that entails, begin to take root and are hard to eradicate. Suddenly everyone becomes an author and rumours can spread through an organisation unchecked. Rumours become facts and employees can become distracted and demotivated. This isn’t the case with an employee engagement solution like StaffConnect. You own the narrative and how it is delivered and received by employees. It’s their device but your app. You can rest assured that accurate, correctly positioned, tonally consistent information is reaching your employees. There are even analytics built in to allow you to measure how successfully it is landing and the impact it is having on engagement. If there is a crisis or emergency, you can communicate advice instantly to your workforce, wherever they are based, and co-ordinate a response to ensure their safety or business continuance.
- One team, one goal
The importance of an organisation all pulling in the right direction can never be underestimated. An effective employee engagement solution is critical to this. Communication bridges are opened between senior management and shop floor workers. Colleagues around the world co-operate and interact for the benefit of the business and its clients. The huge number of non-desk based employees can receive the same communications and retrieve the same assets as those at HQ. Employees who do not have a corporate email address receive the same encouragement, updates and guidance as those that do. Everyone understands, through engagement, the direction in which the organisation is heading, their role in its success and how grateful the organisation is for their contributions.
- Spread the word that your organisation is the place to be
Never before has there been such publicly available insights into the culture of an organisation and the perceived capabilities of the respective CEO. In the first quarter of 2017, Glassdoor, a website that allows employees to comment on and rate both the company and the CEO, clocked 41 million unique visitors. That’s a lot of potential employees undertaking due diligence. Positive reviews and ratings can make it that much easier for organisations to not only retain but also to attract the brightest talent. Negative reviews and ratings can lead to damaging perceptions taking hold that can require both significant time and investment to unpick. Engaged employees are naturally positive about their organisation and their senior leaders. They’ve emotionally invested in both and become willing evangelists. The correlation between highly engaged employees and enviable ratings on sites such as Glassdoor is undisputed.
We think that’s a pretty compelling set of reasons for investing in an employee engagement solution. You’ll have noticed that none of the reasons stand alone. They are all interrelated and form part of a virtuous circle of success that has employee engagement as its driving force. With all of that in mind, we firmly believe that no organisation can afford not to invest in employee engagement. We’d be happy to show you some real-life case studies to demonstrate how StaffConnect clients are already reaping the benefits of engaged employees.