There’s a stubborn question looming over the work of employee engagement advocates and practitioners.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report, 71% of respondents rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success.
But just 24% say employees in their organizations are highly engaged.
A recent piece on Inc.com cites Gallup research that finds “actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year…”
Conversely, Gallup reports, organizations with high engagement derive benefits in addition to happy employees: Stock values have higher earnings per share, and the businesses experience 22% higher profitability, 21% higher productivity, 10% higher customer engagement, 25 to 65% lower turnover and more.
So here’s the question: If employee engagement is so important, how are so few getting it right?
There’s no single, universal answer to that question. But there are two keys to unlocking an answer for your organization. The keys themselves are connected. Without one, it’s hard to benefit from the other. That’s because the first key addresses leadership, and the second execution.
Key No. 1: Securing a Commitment from Leadership
In the race to recruit, engage and retain top talent, organizations that believe in the inherent value of engagement are far ahead of their competition. Their leadership understands that better engaged employees have a keener understanding of their organization’s mission, values and culture. And that makes them better stewards of their brand, which leads to better customer experiences and more sales.
But for the leadership of most organizations – as in the 71% mentioned above – employee engagement remains a tough sell. For these leaders, metrics drive everything. How much in, how much out. How long to ship, how soon to deliver? How much invested, how much returned. These leaders speak the language of hard numbers, correlation and cause and effect.
Not that you can blame them. When you’re responsible for millions of dollars (earned or lost), you’d better be fluent in that language – and have plenty to say when questioned by your board, regulators or investors.
It’s really no wonder that many human resources, corporate communications and internal marketing professionals have trouble gaining leadership’s lasting support for employee engagement initiatives.
The solution? Speak your leaders’ language. Frame the discussion in ways they understand. Basically, you need to tell them how much it will cost to improve engagement, by how much, and how will that improve the bottom line. And tell your leadership about the cost of an unengaged workforce. Unengaged employees lead to higher attrition rates, and higher attrition rates lead to the high cost of replacing staff, lost sales and lower productivity.
Sometimes, the right tool can help you vault that language barrier.
Key No. 2: Establishing Engagement on a Single Platform
Most organizations have no mechanism for measuring the effect of their engagement practices. Messaging is distributed across a patchwork of channels (email, IM, surveys, group chats, video links and more). None of which offers comprehensive analytics on the impact of that messaging, individually by channel or collectively. And this fractured approach is rife with problems all its own: susceptibility to hacking, inadvertent disclosure of proprietary information, and lost messages, to name a few.
Without hard numbers to back up expected results, many leaders will never truly buy in to the power of engagement.
Enter the singular platform, a mobile app. But not just any mobile app.
You’ll need a powerful, all-in-one mobile app that:
- Consolidates all engagement channels onto one platform
- Provides easy access to information needed to work more efficiently
- Features built-in analytics tools across channels
- Offers flexibility based on an organization’s need, scale and budget
The Single Platform is hubEngage
If your program lacks a robust custom employee engagement app, it’s time to consider a tool like the hubEngage. With its comprehensive analytics capabilities, the platform helps you to coordinate – and tailor – employee engagement communications like never before.
Most importantly, the analytics tools help you to speak your leadership’s language, providing you with data detailed enough to persuade even the most ardent skeptic.