The Links between Employee Engagement and Business Outcomes

In a line manager’s world Employee Engagement can very quickly get lost amongst competing priorities

The Links between Employee Engagement and Business Outcomes

Background

When discussing Employee Engagement with managers we are often asked “Yes, but what is the link between employee engagement scores and business outcomes?” This Whitepaper discusses these links and suggests some practical ways to build these linkages between the HR department and management teams and ways of putting these links into action.

Most Managers don’t really understand Employee Engagement

In our experience, many organisations conduct Employee Engagement surveys but fail to communicate the meaning of the results to the average line manager. In particular, the relationship between other business data and Employee Engagement is not researched or compiled and in the absence of this data, managers and executives say

“So? My divisions score is lower than the other divisions. You know we have business issues to attend to. Why waste our time with employee engagement scores?”

Without data to support the Employee Engagement scores, these scores get lost in business activity focused on profit and loss statements, profit margin reviews, customer retention scores and other line management priorities.

This represents a growing problem. In Year One of conducting the Engagement Survey, the management team listens to the engagement results but without direct connection to their issues, they don’t act. In Year Two, they have learned that nothing happens if Employee Engagement scores are ignored. By Year Three, very few people are listening, Engagement scores are posted and life goes on.

The Brush Off

The simple answer to this dilemma is to give the line managers exactly what they want, namely Employee Engagement data correlated with Business data which they understand and already have access to.

For example, let’s assume we have conducted an Employee Engagement survey for a hotel chain.

The overall organizational Employee Engagement score is similar to last year’s score at, let’s say, 63%. The Engagement survey however highlights several states where scores are particularly low, consistent with previous year scores. The managers of these states were provided with their scores in the previous years but have explained them away by describing various issues such as “We were an acquisition”, or “Our scores have always been lower as our demographics are different in this state. That explains the variances.”

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