Although leaders understand that employee engagement is important, many don’t understand how important it is to the success of their organization.

In 2009, Right Management published Employee Engagement, Maximizing Organizational Performance. Their study was a global one involving over 22,000 executives. The high level findings were that highly engaged workgroups enjoyed:

  • 44% high retention
  • 50% more productivity
  • 33% more profitability
  • 56% higher customer loyalty

With these statistics, it is clear that long term talent management strategies that focus on employee engagement are critical to a company’s viability and sustainability. So, there is no reason to put off an employee engagement initiative.

The three main sources of employee engagement are: culture, managers, and hiring. Does your company have a culture that promotes engagement? Are managers trained in the techniques and skills that will nurture and promote employee engagement? And is your hiring process developed to identify candidates who have the capacity to be engaged in your culture?

If employee engagement is a new initiative for your company here are some tips.

  1. Prepare for and deploy an employee engagement assessment survey
  2. Using the results, identify areas of best practices as well as areas of improvement
  3. Determine what areas you want to improve and develop a plan of action
  4. Communicate results of plan to employees- be transparent and include the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lay out the improvement plan with specific dates and communicate progress on an ongoing basis.
  5. Institute the process on an annual basis

When developing your improvement plan, ask yourself : How do we rate against our competitors in employee engagement? What are the quick versus long term changes that we can implement? What managers are able to create high levels of employee engagement and what are they doing that we can learn from?

And finally, remember that the process should be owned by the C-Suite with support from Human Resources. Without commitment and ownership from the top, the necessary steps for improvement won’t have the energy to be fully implemented in a timely manner.

With talent at a premium, especially in the areas of healthcare, accounting, technology, and engineering, creating a robust employee engagement is critical if you rely on these skills.  And even if you don’t rely on these skills, the cost of turnover is significant to an organization. The longer you wait the bigger risk you are putting your company in to not have the right talent to drive future success.

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