An engaged workforce drives higher levels of business performance and can improve the company’s financial fortunes significantly. Dozens of studies show a strong causal relationship between a change in employee engagement and key business metrics such as productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
Because engagement is such a strong driver of business outcomes, it’s incumbent on every company to have a strong employee engagement program and to measure its effects. You should be able to gauge the impact of your employee engagement efforts almost immediately.
Look at sick days
Most engagement programs produce their strongest gains in the early waves, as the new program creates energy and highlights issues that often lead to productive manager-employee conversations. This stage tends to produce strong wave-over-wave gains of five to 15 basis points. This period typically last for two to three waves, with each wave being equivalent to about one year’s duration.
In this stage, an organization becomes competitive on engagement and targets industry benchmarks. It should be easy at this point to link changes in engagement levels to documented, positive changes in key business outcomes. The most common relationships are links to retention, attrition, productivity, sick days and a variety of other important business outputs.
Aim for 3 to 1 ratio
Different engagement programs produce different definitions of engagement (and disengagement) so there are no standards or averages across all programs. That being said, most experts agree that you need a ratio of at least two to one of engaged employees to disengaged employees to start achieving business gains associated with engagement. Personally, I think a three-to-one ratio is more likely to be the tipping point that drives significant and lasting change.
Best practice is to make employee engagement a continuous process, completely integrated in year-round business management and planning. Engagement should be viewed as a strategic effort integrated with and aligned to the overall workforce development strategy. Let me hear from you. What’s the ratio of your engaged/not engaged workers in your company? What steps are you taking?
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